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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Registered: 10/10/02
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Ethnocentrism
    #2278770 - 01/27/04 09:04 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

I find this to be a serious problem in America. It's not the same as racism, but the two are somewhat related. Ethnocentrism is the belief in the superiority of one's culture/society/country/etc. and its way of doing things.

We were discussing in my archaeology class today how earlier achaeology basically compared other civilizations with European civilization, using European standards of achievment: technology, communication, subsistence, and political organization. They had a unilineal model for "advancement": band, then tribe, then chiefdom, then state. Hunter-gatherer societies were viewed as more "primitive" than state societies, and therefore inferior. However, if they had used standards such as leisure time, equality, environmental impact, and level of violence, they would see that these "primitive" societies had many advantages over state societies. This is not to say that hunter-gatherer societies are superior either. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. Furthermore, their unilineal model for advancement doesn't take into account communes or groups like the Amish, who leave state society in favor of a more "primitive" lifestyle.

Anyway, fast-forward to modern society, and you will see ethnocentrism in a lot of places. Think of every time someone says America is the greatest country in the world, even if they've never been anywhere else. Also, notice how Americans look at Muslim women with their burkhas and think that it's a sign of oppression? I'm not saying that Muslim countries aren't oppressive to women(I'd say most countries are), but many if not most of those women choose to wear it, and do so with pride. I guess what I'm saying is don't be so quick to judge. Other people have different values, and what may seem awful to us, other people couldn't imagine living without.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineMrGrib
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Re: Ethnocentrism [Re: silversoul7]
    #2279859 - 01/28/04 06:32 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

ethnocentrism is a very funny thing. unfortunately, everybody does it. it's how groups of people preserve and/or perpetuate their culture, whether consciously or otherwise.


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Ethnocentrism [Re: silversoul7]
    #2279881 - 01/28/04 06:56 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Was watching the Australian Open (Tennis) today and saw the fans waving tiny flags of their nation in support of the player and I thought, "How silly is this?" Am I really more closely related to Roddick (and 300,000,000 other Americans) than I am to Federer?

All arbitrary lines drawn around groups seem to be divisive.


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The proof is in the pudding.


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InvisibleKid_Orgo
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Re: Ethnocentrism [Re: Swami]
    #2280275 - 01/28/04 12:03 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Any line is divisive. That's what a line is, it has two sides.

(500 posts, and this one might be the most inane)


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He was a cowboy in one of the seven days a week fights. No business, no hangout; no friends, nothing; just what you pick up and what you need.


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Ethnocentrism [Re: Kid_Orgo]
    #2280298 - 01/28/04 12:12 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

*Redundancy alert*

Fair enough - you got me there.  :nut:


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OfflineSpecialEd
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Re: Ethnocentrism [Re: Swami]
    #2280396 - 01/28/04 12:36 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Hey Swami, Kid Orgo said the same thing that you did.


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Ethnocentrism [Re: SpecialEd]
    #2280482 - 01/28/04 12:55 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Is that another *Redundancy Alert* ? Is this an infinite loop?  :oogle:


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OfflineSiphersh
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Re: Ethnocentrism [Re: silversoul7]
    #2285399 - 01/29/04 11:04 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

"Ethnocentricism" may be the right word when talking about anthropologic (or archeologic) studies, but in the case of decisions and judgements effecting the lives of contemporary people very directly, I would not be this euphemistic. I've called this mentality 'cultural chauvinism' in another thread, and I wouldn't use this harsh word if I wouldn't be that upset about it as I am. [Please correct me in using this expression if you feel appropriate; I'm not a native speaker of English, after all...]

So, I'm upset, when people in a 300 years old nation think they have the right to judge what standards of political and social standards the people living in the valleys of the most ancient cradle of human culture have to live in accordance to.

I won't try to make a present-day political issue out of this discussion, but the military enforcement of culturally determined political value-systems is rather actual a topic these days...

By the way, I wonder if... Any of you who live in the USA: do you over there really believe, that democracy is something superior to all other present forms of society judged by some absolute scale, judged by some godly knowledge, or anything... I'm just asking, for I'm curious, I don't meet and talk to americans that often, so I don't know...


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InvisibleAnnapurna1
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Re: Ethnocentrism [Re: Siphersh]
    #2285614 - 01/30/04 12:03 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

By the way, I wonder if... Any of you who live in the USA: do you over there really believe, that democracy is something superior to all other present forms of society judged by some absolute scale

i cant speak for all forms of society...but democracy is superior to the present form of society in the US...


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"anchor blocks counteract the process of pontiprobation..while omalean globes regulize the pressure"...


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OfflineSiphersh
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Re: Ethnocentrism [Re: Annapurna1]
    #2285654 - 01/30/04 12:14 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Annapurna1, I see your point, but what _is_ democratic society, if not the present US political/social structure? Do you mean ancient greek democracy, perhaps, which is rather different from any modern democratic concept? Or an earlier USA? Or a European democracy?

Or is your concept of that not-present democracy something that never really existed, never really proved actually managable and preservable? Some kind of imaginary ideal?


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General Interest >> Philosophy, Sociology & Psychology

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