The perils of monoculturalism
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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
- 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 because of the way they have historically been used
|Sneetches by Dr. Seuss is a delightful way of looking at differences in people|
Ethnocentrism: good or bad?
|Ethnocentrism causes us to make generalizations about other peoples and cultures based on our culture's norms. [ read more ]|
SNU missions course materials and syllabi
Howard Culbertson, Southern Nazarene University, 6729 NW 39th, Bethany, OK 73008 | Phone: 405-491-6693 - Fax: 405-491-6658
Copyright © 2000, 2001 - Last Updated: January 19, 2010 | URL: http://home.snu.edu/~hculbert/mono.htm