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Advantages and disadvantages of ethnocentrism

Updated on May 14, 2012

The aspect of ethnocentrism was brought about by William Graham. Ethnocentrism occurs in a circle where a group or a circle of individuals live together and believe that such a group is everything to them. This is because such a group shares the same beliefs, norms and activities. Ethnocentrism is one of the main reasons why division exists among member of different ethnicities, religious groups and races. The group members of an ethnocentric group believe that their group is superior or better in a number on ways compared to others around it.

Although many people cannot identify ethnocentric group in the current world, such groups still exist both at political and social levels. Members of an ethnocentric group believe that they are culturally particular and those outside their group may not comprehend their way of life. In the contemporary world, ethnocentric groups have greatly reduced. However, some of the remaining ones include elements such as stereotyping against other people; such a group may only hire personnel from within their circle ,it may disregard other religious practices, college groupings origination from a particular destination and a tribe that has disintegrated from the main society.

The attitude of ethnocentrism brings about both positive and negative consequences to the group and to those outside the group. One of the advantages that it brings about is that it is unlikely to experience internal conflicts. Given that the group unanimously believes in a particular way of doing things, they abide with them and no opposition is likely to develop. The level of cohesion in such a group is very high and such is essential for developmental purposes. Another advantage is that an ethnocentric group is immune to external influence. For example communities that greatly value their traditions are unlikely to accept practices that are abolished by the values of the group like homosexuality. This enables them to maintain their long valued traditions for future generations.

Conducting market research within the group is easy because they will exhibit the same tastes and preferences. Furthermore the group is likely to share the same language thus one may not need an interpreter to communicate effectively. Thus carrying out in such a group is fast and economical.

Apart from the advantages that ethnocentric groups experience, they are bound to have negative consequences. For example there will be no diversity within the group thus missing on innovation and positive change that it comes with. This will render such a group outdated and out of touch with reality. Another disadvantage is that the group may wrongly evaluate the other people outside the group and miss out on the positive aspects that may be of benefit to them. Such a group is likely to prejudice and oppress other groups and cultures different from theirs.

In conclusion a highly ethnocentric group may be extinct and overtaken by events. For example a religious group may be using outdated practices such as use of non convectional methods of treatment. Although ethnocentrism still exists in the society, it should not be practiced on the extreme sides but find away of balancing their belief with those of other groups around them.


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This has been of great help to me, now i know a little bit more about the advantages and dis advantages that is brought about by ethnocentrism .

    • Prossylink profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Nairobi


      Kartike damon, that is right, somehow people always think that their culture is the best and are fast at analyzing others negatively.That is not right at all,remember before God every one is equal.

      Thanks for your comment!

    • kartika damon profile image

      kartika damon 

      8 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

      I think we see lots of the negative effects of ethnocentrism throughout the world - when people think their way of life is superior and fail to try to understand other cultures, religions, and ways of thinking. This is a great topic, and one I think about often and see how it plays out here in my own country and elsewhere in the world. Thanks for sharing!


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