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Eurocentrism

Syed Farid Alatas


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Eurocentrism is a particular case of the more general phenomenon of ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism refers to the regard of one's own ethnic group or society as superior to others. Other groups are assessed and judged in terms of the categories and standards of evaluation of one's own group. Eurocentrism, therefore, is defined as a thought style in which the assessment and evaluation of non-European societies is couched in terms of the cultural assumptions and biases of Europeans and, by extension, the West. Eurocentrism is a modern phenomenon and cannot be dissociated from the political economic and cultural domination of Europe and, later, the United States. It may be more accurate to refer to the phenomenon under consideration as Euroamericocentrism. Eurocentrism is an important dimension of the ideology of modern capitalism ( Amin 1989 ) and is manifested in both the daily life of lay people and the professional lives and thought of sociologists and other social scientists. Furthermore, although Eurocentrism originates in Europe, as a thought style it is not confined to Europeans or those in the West. Eurocentrism in sociology is defined as the assessment and evaluation of European and other societies from a decidedly European (read also American) point of view. The European point of view is founded on concepts derived from European philosophical traditions and popular discourse ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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