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Ethnocentrism is the tendency to believe that one's ethnic or cultural group is centrally important, and that all other groups are measured in relation to one's own. The ethnocentric individual will judge other groups relative to his or her own particular ethnic group or culture, especially with concern to language, behavior, customs, and religion. These ethnic distinctions and sub-divisions serve to define each ethnicity's unique cultural identity.

Some ways to overcome the ethnocentrism:

Learn about other groups. This is the easiest way to discover that everybody, despite their culture, experiences the same joys and heartaches you do. Colleges promote this sensitivity with classes on various races and countries. Reading foreign books and newspapers offers this same insight.

Make friends. Friendship cuts through a lot of misconceptions simply because we see them as individuals rather than as collections of traits. An easy way to cultivate friends of different viewpoints is to volunteer for or join cultural clubs.

Browse foreign sites on the Internet. The Internet offers us the exact same resource available to foreigners.

Entertain yourself differently. The dramatic emotions highlighted by movies, television shows and music can make us feel exactly what foreigners feel, increasing our empathy for them.

Attend services from another religion. Start with different flavors of your belief.

Travel to different cultures grants knowledge through sight, sound, touch and smell. You discover first-hand that people flourish with societies, customs and cultures that have nothing to do with your own. Different ways of living can produce happy and productive lives.
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