An Overview on Ethnocentrism

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Ethnocentrism is an important topic for modern anthropology for many reasons. Firstly, we must understand that ethnocentrism is the incorrect belief that ones own group is in some way superior to others, and the standard by which others are judged. This belief has unfortunately been an important factor in the history of the human race. It has been in existence forever, and therefore is very pertinent to the field of cultural anthropology.

Secondly, ethnocentrism has been the cause of many wars, riots, and hate crimes, and is the basis by which racism is formed. For this reason, it is important to study in regards to history. From example in the past and present, we can see that it is a significant topic. From the persecution of Christians and Jews in the earliest Bible times, to today as Muslim extremists target Americans, ethnocentrism is a part of us and affects everybody.

Thirdly and most importantly, the only way to conquer the hate, racism, and violence that ethnocentrism brings is through education. The best education we can provide in this direction is through the collegiate and scholastic environments. We must incorporate it into anthropology so that we can continue to study it and it's effects. We need to understand everything we can about it, and how to prevent it. The end goal, of course, be the success and victory over the narrow minded views which hold within ethnocentrism.

Works Cited
"Ethnocentrism" Microsoft Encarta DVD-Premium 2006

"Ethnocentrism" Wikipedia internet encyclopedia, Public written

"What is ethnocentrism?"
Ken Barger
Department of Anthropology, IUPUI
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