Ethnocentrism in Avatar

Topics: 20th Century Fox, Human, Culture Pages: 3 (790 words) Published: December 24, 2013
Ethnocentrism in Anthropological perspective - Avatar
Using highly advanced technology to replicate and to creating false bodies which humans use to walk amongst the natives known as the Na’vi living in the planet Pandora hence the name ‘Avatar’. The story focuses on an ex U.S. soldier name Jake Sully who is wheel-chair bound, was called upon as a last resort to replace his late brother whom had trained for 3 years in a project which was invested with so much money that the researchers could not bear to make it go to waste. Thus, sharing the same DNA, Jake was then given the privilege to be part of the project as he was tasked to retrieve back an extremely valuable mineral known as “Unobtainium” (Cameron & Landau, 2009) and at the same time taking advantage of the false bodies to integrate with the Na’vi and to learn their ways and practices. The movie brings the audience through a journey at the same time identifying ethnocentrism through the aspects of exoticism, primitivism and romanticism in the wondrous world of Pandora. Ethnocentrism refers to a bias where one's own group is the center of everything. One’s own culture is considered superior and all ‘others’ are scaled and rated as below it (Lundberg, 2012). It was both the human race and the Na’vi who deemed each other as less superior, example when the human were using machines to destroy the forest and thus treating the Na’vi like animals, being chased out of their homes and disregard for their safety. Similarly, Eytukan the clan leader of the Na’vi also shared the same sentiment who regarded Jake Sully as to having an ‘alien smell’ and did not belong to the tribe (Cameron & Landau, 2009). This evidently shows that both were equally disrespectful towards each other’s cultures. Analysing through exoticism which critique others culture as exotic and alluring (Lundberg, 2009). It is has shown that Pandora is filled with a wide diversity of life forms ranging from bright coloured plants blooming...


References: Cameron, J, & Landau, J (Producers), & Cameron, J (Director). (2009). Avatar [Motion picture].
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20th Century Fox (2009). Pandorapedia: The Official Guide to Pandora. Retrieved July 10, 2013, from http://www.pandorapedia.com/
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