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The perils of monoculturalism

So, what's wrong with being monocultural (that is, knowing only one culture)? A provincialism growing out of a monoculturalist worldview can cause you to fall into these traps:

1. A naive ethnocentrism
I judge everything using my own culture as the measuring rod without being consciously aware of what I'm doing.
2. Absolutist thinking
Insisting that things are not to be questioned: "It's my way or the highway"
An overly legalistic concern for maintaining form, precedents and established customs/dd>
3. An embracing of naive realism
"As we see things, that's the way they are."
Naive realism says that we can know things in the world directly without taking into account our own filtering processes. Naive realism is the view that when we perceive something, we have perceived it exactly as it is. It is believing that our perceptions of reality are not colored or mediated by anything else.
4. Lack of respect for other people's ways
"There's no one else here."
5. The evaluation of customs and perspectives on the basis of one's own culturally learned assumptions and values (worldview)
This grows out of the sense that one's views have been arrived at because they are superior to any other views.
6. The use of pejorative terms to describe customs different from one's own
This may even be done innocently simply because one hasn't thought through the baggage which those terms and phrases carry due to the way they were used in the past.

Dr. Seuss' Sneetches book is a delightful way of confronting blind prejudice in terms of cultural and ethnic differences

YouTube reading of "The Sneetches"

     -- Howard Culbertson

Ethnocentrism: What's so bad about it?

hereEthnocentrism causes us to make generalizations about other peoples and cultures based on our culture's norms. [ read more ]

Cultural Anthropology course resources:   Adjustment realities   Bingo   Bwanda Fusa game   Case studies   Christianity and culture   Course home page   Cross-cultural steps   Culture shock   Ethnocentrism   Exam study guides   Kwast's culture model   Light bulb illustration   Missions and culture   My own culture shock   PowerPoint presentations used in class   Reading report form   Reentry: Coming home   Research paper topic ideas

World missions course materials and syllabi

Cultural Anthropology    Introduction to Missions    Linguistics    Missions Strategies    Modern Missionary Movement (History of  Missions)    Nazarene Missions    Church Growth and Christian Missions    Theology of Missions    Traditional Religions    World Religions
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Howard Culbertson, 5901 NW 81st, Oklahoma City, OK 73132  |  Phone: 405-740-4149 - Fax: 405-491-6658

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