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Ethnocentrism and the affect it has on individuals and societies

Definition of ethnocentrism and the affect it has on individuals, societies and multinational corporations.

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In brief, ethnocentrism is the tendency for one group to think of their own ways as superior to those of others. Those who behave in an ethnocentric fashion are usually unaware that they are doing so. Their point of view is so narrow, so limited by their own cultural and ethnic experiences, that they are unable to perceive their own misunderstandings of other groups.

For example, an American traveling in rural Africa becomes irate when trains or buses don't arrive on time. The person at the ticket counter receives the complaint with polite resignation and assures the American traveler that the bus will be along shortly. When the bus finally arrives hours later, the tourist is in a fit of rage. The African travelers, however, seem to take it all in stride. What the American is incapable of understanding is that outside major African metropolitan areas there are frequently disruptions in travel schedules, so being "in a hurry" to catch public transport is fruitless.

The American is accustomed to his or her native country's way of doing things. In ...

Solution Summary

The solution defines ethnocentrism and gives examples of how it may affect the interractions of various groups in a society. Web sites are listed that give additional information. The text contains