Does Ethnocentrism Promotes The Clash Of Civilization Idea?

The word ethnocentrism means valuing and treating one’s own culture as superior to other cultures and giving value judgments about the other cultures; without giving due thought that they have their own right to consider their cultures as important and practice them. Ethnocentrism does lead to clash of cultures as one thinks his culture as superior to other cultures and the other culture as primitive and backward to his own, which leads to clash in civilizations.

Ethnocentrism leads to social solidarity where a value and community feeling develops among the people who share the same cultural and traditional background and they expect similar thinking, opinion and customs from the others they encounter in their life. They feel that their opinions and cultural practices are true, natural, moral and right and that of others are primitive and backward. People who are ethnocentric behave differently when they interact with people from other cultures, and also consider their ways to be odd, savage, immoral and also unnatural.

The world today is shrinking day by day where people from western culture and eastern culture mingle with one another and becomes a cosmopolitan background in the work spaces of many transnational and or multinational companies. Huntington in his book ‘The Clash of Civilizations’ differentiates between the major types of civilizations that are based on cultural ethnographies like the western civilization in the American countries, Latin American Civilizations, Orthodox civilization in the Soviet Union, Cyprus, etc and Eastern Civilization in the south east Asian countries, etc. Huntington’s thesis that civilizations will clash due to the differences in culture, language, religion, etc; emerges from the fact that as globalization makes the world even more smaller, people who interact with other cultures become more culture conscious and about their own civilizations. As labor mobility takes place across regions, cultural characteristics are compromised at the work places for achieving political and economic ends for one’s own welfare.

What is muted at the workplaces for reaching economic goals builds up over a period of time, causes stress and creates occupational burnout among employees who cross national and cultural borders accumulates. As Hofstede has rightly pointed out, these cultural differences like Individualism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance and masculine and feminine differences builds up as stress and gives rise to cultural conflicts inside the organization. For example, people in America are more individualistic and self concerned than those from the eastern world who are more collectivistic among their groups. This creates chaos and conflict among the people who are from different cultures and also leads to ethnocentrism among these people.

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