Advantages And Disadvantages Of Ethnocentrism

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During the first stage, defined as curiosity, a foreign visitor and the cultural differences are enthusiastically perceived by the members of the host culture. At an advanced point in time, when the individual participates and attempts to operate in the other culture a second stage commences: ethnocentrism. The nationals will criticize the visitor by the means of their cultural standards. Thus, the own cultural standards often represent the upper end of the development scale and the unknown with a spot at the lower end of the scale. A definition for the term ethnocentrism explains that “the conscious or unconscious belief that ones [sic] own culture/community/race is truly superior to all others and the tendency to be unaware of the biases involved”.
However, it can be implied that when a culture has little contact with members from an-other culture that it perseveres in its ethnocentrism. In contrast, when members of one culture are in regular contact with individuals of another culture, they might progress to polycentrism. This term involves the awareness to judge other cultures differently and not by the own cultural standards.

Consequently, ethnocentrism implies that people are biased to members of different cul-tural backgrounds. The evaluation of their behavior, values and attitudes on one’s own cultural standards may lead to feelings of superiority and thus an impartial encounter would not be possible.

3.5.2 Problems on the linguistic competence level
One of
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