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Intercultural Communication
CULTURAL
IDENTITY
Unit 1
Week 3 / Session 2
Overview
• What is Ethnocentrism?
• Discussion point 1 – your experience of
ethnocentrism
• Why is one cultural group better or worse
than any other? Discussion point 2: Video
input followed by discussions
• Knowledge about your own culture
• Discussion point 3
What is ethnocentrism?
• Ethnocentrism is judging another culture solely by the values
and standards of one's own culture. This is particularly
concerned with language, behaviour, customs, and religion.
• These ethnic distinctions and subdivisions serve to define
each ethnicity's unique cultural identity.
• The term ethnocentrism was created by William G. Sumner,
when observing the tendency for people to differentiate
between the ‘ingroup’ and others. He described it as often
leading to pride, vanity, beliefs of one's own group's
superiority, and contempt of outsiders (wikipedia.org).
Discussion Point 1
In small groups, discuss and make notes on the following
questions below:
• Can you recall a time when you have been ethnocentric
to someone else?
• Has anyone ever made you uncomfortable or offended
because of ethnocentrism?
• How can we avoid getting caught up in ethnocentrism?
Discussion Point 2:
Why is one cultural group better or worse than any other?
Watch the following video clip and in a small groups discuss the questions
below:
A.
You Tube (2008)
1.
2.
3.
Did you identify any signs of ethnocentrism in the following videos?
What potential issues did you identify in the videos?
A way of avoiding ethnocentrism is to have a good understanding of
different cultures. Do you think we have the right to understand the
culture of the Amazonian tribe in the video?
Discussion Point 2:
Continued
Watch the following video clip and in a small groups discuss the questions
below:
B.
You Tube (2010)
1.
2.
3.
Did you identify any signs of ethnocentrism in the following videos?
What potential issues did you identify in the videos?
The Papua New Guinean tribe in the video seem to know a lot about
our culture, is it not fair that we should know more about their culture?
Discussion Point 2
continued:
Watch the second video clip and discuss the questions below:
C.
You Tube (2009)
1. Did you identify any signs of ethnocentrism in the following videos?
2. What potential issues did you identify in the videos?
3. How may these issues be avoided?
Discussion point 3:
Knowledge about your own culture
As we discussed earlier, a way of avoiding ethnocentrism is to learn
about other cultures.
In small groups discuss the following questions:
•
•
•
•
What aspects of a culture do you think are essential to know about?
Do you feel you know enough about your own culture?
What aspects of your culture would you like to know more about?
How might you learn about these aspects?
Homework – Blog task 2
Task 1: A friend of yours, who has very little knowledge about
your culture, would like to learn more about your culture. Write
a brief summary, highlighting what you think are the most
important aspects of your culture.
Task 2: Pick a partner in the class and write 5 questions (of
which you do not know the answers) to ask your partner about
their culture. Please post your questions on your partner’s blog.
References
You Tube (2008) Untouched Amazonian Tribe Caught On Camera Available at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16fvTonR_gA&feature=related
[Accessed on 17th July 2012)
You Tube (2009) Cultural Differences National Geographic
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BT0kzF4A-WQ&feature=related
[Accessed on 17th July 2012)
You Tube (2010) Trouble for the tribe hunters - First Contact – BBC. Available
at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0glz_gLQgE&feature=relmfu
[Accessed on 17th July 2012)
Wikipedia.org (2012) Ethnocentrism. Available at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnocentrism [Accessed 13th July, 2012]
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