Reflective Paper Essay

October 2, 2017 Anthropology

Ethnocentrism is the belief that one’s civilization is more superior to others and that they hold all others in comparing to their ain. It is a construct that was introduced in the beginning of this class and has played a function in treatments throughout the semester. At first it is hard to understand what ethnocentrism is and why it plays such a outstanding function. but with the reoccurring visual aspect of the term in category. the importance behind it becomes more apparent.

If an person has the position of being ethnocentric. so they limit themselves because of the mentality they have on the universe. In cultural anthropology it is of great importance that research workers do non take on an ethnocentric position. because they learn more if they can put their ain positions and prejudices aside and concentrate on a different civilization.

Ethnocentrism leads to a shockable position that isolates one set of thoughts. values and ethical motives. A society with an ethnocentric position believes that their civilization is the centre of everything. and that anything different or new to them is non sufficient. If a community of people with ethnocentric positions were to derive power. so they could travel to such utmost as to enforce their thoughts onto others who may hold a different position. It is seen in history with racial segregation and the race murder of a race such as in the instance of the Nazi power in Germany and the holocaust. In today’s clip. when civilization is invariably altering with globalisation. to hold an ethnocentric position can do great intervention with international dealingss.

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Anthropologists benefit a great trade from detecting and larning from other civilizations. They use a assortment of methods and schemes to avoid ethnocentric readings. These methods may include. but are non limited to. studies. interviews with persons and participant observation. In the novel Veiled Sentiments writer and anthropologist Lila Abu-Lughod describes her experience in the Bedouin community by stating “in a society where affinity defines most relationships. it was of import to hold a function as a assumed family in order to participate” ( 15 ) .

For Abu-Lughod to detect the confidant and personal minutes of the Bedouins. she had to go forth behind the civilization she was used to in the United States of America to convert the indigens of the community to take her into their civilization. It is non unusual for an anthropologist to submerge themselves into the society that they are detecting. Most find that they benefit and learn more if they go into their fieldwork with an unfastened head and presume a function in the society alternatively of retaining the place of an foreigner.

By stepping out of their ain civilization and into another. they can get down to understand why some people act and live a peculiar manner. Laura Bohannan experienced such an state of affairs during her fieldwork in Africa. she stated beforehand “that human nature is reasonably much the same the whole universe over ; at least the general secret plan and motive of the greater calamities would ever be clear everyplace.

Although. some inside informations of usage might hold to be explained and troubles of interlingual rendition might bring forth other little changes” what she did non understand at the clip was the in deepness differences between civilizations ( 41 ) . The exposure and research that anthropologists gathered can be relayed to other persons and state of affairss in their ain society. With the cognition gained in the work of cultural anthropology. an single can review one’s ain civilization and invent solutions to societal jobs.

A society is expected to larn and spread out over the passing of clip. It is important that we do non fall into an ethnocentric head set. The universe is a diverse topographic point with many doctrines on how to populate life. By taking on the function of detecting alternatively of judging. we can ship on happening out what these beliefs are and why they are followed by people. We can break understand how the universe works. If an person has the position of being ethnocentric. so they limit themselves because of the mentality they have on the universe.

Plants Cited
Abu-lughod. Lila. Veiled Sentiments. Los Angeles: University of California Press. 1986. Print. Spradley. James P. . and David W. McCurdy. “Shakespeare in the Bush. ” Conformity and Conflict: Readings in Cultural Anthropology. Upper Saddle River. New jersey: Pearson. 2012. 41-47. Print.

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