Culture and Ethnocentrism

1439 WordsJun 16, 20056 Pages
Are we limited in knowledge, in imagination, and in understanding by the culture we grow up in? In other words, are we ethnocentric, and if so is it a bad thing? To answer that, one must understand what ethnocentrism is. According to Macionis (2004), ethnocentrism is "the practice of judging another culture by the standards of one's own culture". We are not born with culture; culture is a socially learned behavior, or set of values that a given groups holds as a norm and are considered to be true and right. It is these cultural norms that connect the individuals of the group, which make up a society. No society can exist without culture and no culture can exist without a society (Giddens, Duneier, & Applebaum, 2002). The two are…show more content…
And the extreme negative perspective imposes their cultural values and beliefs on others, insisting they adapt and conform, leaving their cultural norms behind where they will cease to exist (Manon, 1999). In comparing a show such as the Iron Chef within the realm of ethnocentrism, the most noticeable differences would be the type of competition displayed. The Iron Chef has been referred to as "A mix between Godzilla, wrestling, and Julia Child" (Iron Chef, n.d.). The cooking shows that we are culturally accustomed to viewing are nothing like the Iron Chef, and in fact, pales in comparison. The Iron Chef is a symbol for what the Japanese culture revered as the bushido; or the way of the warrior, hence the fierce competition between the chefs. This samurai tradition was once deeply engrained in Japanese tradition; however remains only as nostalgia today, yet the spirit came alive within the show, the Iron Chef (Shotokai, n.d.). Unlike our cooking shows, the Iron Chef does not teach cooking techniques, although the audience will inevitably contain students and chefs alike. US television show audiences are usually made up of people purchasing tickets or standing in line to watch the taping of the show, and are allowed free admittance. The competition was to create an outstanding and creative looking food that tastes as good as it looks within a time limit of 45 minutes. This could
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