Ethnocentrism : The Danger Of A Single Story Essay examples

Ethnocentrism : The Danger Of A Single Story Essay examples

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Ethnocentrism is when a person judges a group by the standard of their own culture. Ethnocentrism come in many shapes and forms and takes place in all cultures. The example I found to be the best representation and explanation of ethnocentrism, was the TedTalk: Chimamanda Adichie The Danger of a single story. In her talk she relays times in her life where she thought all books had to have white British characters in them because she only read books, which had those types of characters. She also relayed the story of here first time in college where she had an American room mate who assumed she would have no idea how to do simple tasks like use a stove (Adichie). Ethnocentrism is like having a single story we see other cultures only as our culture has told us they are like. In the instance where Chimamanda Adichie was telling us about her college roommate the only story her roommate had was the one of poverty, which our culture has told us is all Africa is. We judge other cultures by our standards because we have not had any other story but our own.
Another example of ethnocentrism was in Eating Christmas in the Kalahari. In this article the story the narrator tells us about how he wanted to give back to the community who had allowed him to stay with them and study them. To do this he went and bought the best ox he could find and was going to gift it to the community for their Christmas Feast. However, when the community members leaned about the ox they informed the narrator that the ox was no good. In the weeks to come the villagers would tell him that there was no meat on that ox and that it would not make for a plentiful feast. The narrator reacted just as anyone from our culture would have. He began to get angry at the village a...


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...annan). This is showing ethnocentrism on the part of the men in the community listening to the story. They decided that clearly the story was wrong unless they told her how it was supposed to be told and that her elders did not know what they were talking about. They were evaluating the story by their culture’s values and assuming that the narrator’s culture must be the same as theirs and she has made a mistake.
Ethnocentrism is experienced by all not just by anthropologist. The readers of books and papers can exhibit our ethnocentrism clouds the way we see the characters and how we think the characters should behave. Those being studied by the anthropologist when they assume that the anthropologist culture must be like theirs also exhibit ethnocentrism and this can cause the way they view the anthropologist and the access they give them differently.

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