Ethnocentrism is the act of judging another culture based on preconceptions that are found in the values and standards of one's own culture – especially regarding language, behavior, customs, and religion.[1][2] These aspects or categories are distinctions that define each ethnicity's unique cultural identity.[3]

Origins of the concept

The term ethnocentrism was coined by Ludwig Gumplowicz[4][5] and subsequently employed by social scientist William G. Sumner. Gumplowicz defined ethnocentrism as the reasons by virtue of which each group of people believed it had always occupied the highest point, not only among contemporaneous peoples and nations, but also in relation to all peoples of the historical past.[6]

William G. Sumner defined ethnocentrism as "the technical name for the view of things in which one's own group is the center of everything, and all others are scaled and rated with reference to it." He further characterized ethnocentrism as often leading to pride, vanity, the belief in one's own group's superiority, and contempt for outsiders.[7] These problems may occur from the division of societies into in-groups and out-groups.[8] Ethnocentrism is explained in the social sciences and genetics. In anthropology, cultural relativism is used as an antithesis and antonym to ethnocentrism.[9]