Throughout this semester, as a class we have had to keep a personal blog, which was used to reflect on what we learned through videos, articles, essays and our text-book. In this essay I am going to reflect on what I have learned or unlearned throughout the duration of this course. Through learning different theories and realities I have begun to look at the world through a “multi-perspective approach.”
As we began the year we looked, and discussed many different core concepts, such as sociological imagination, and global sociological imagination. The one concept that really stuck out for me was ethnocentrism.
Ethnocentrism is a core concept that we as a class discussed at the beginning of the semester, and has followed us right through the course. I have even discussed it in my Anthropology course. At the beginning I had no idea what it meant or how it manifested itself. Ethnocentrism is, according to W.G. Summers “the ‘view of things on which one’s own group is the centre of everything, and all others are scaled and rated with reference to it.’” I still did not understand exactly what it meant until we stopped and discussed what it meant. It was like a light going off inside my head, I now realized what it was, and that I was ethnocentric without even knowing it.
I understand now what it means. In my own words it means, to think that my own nation is better than everyone else’s, and other nations are lower than mine because mine is superior. I became aware that whenever I spoke about Canada or other countries, I would say that Canada was much better than, say the United States, in our policies, morals and ideals, but that was not the case. May countries are much better than Canada in their ideals and morals, but I would not hear of it.
When I realized I was wrong, it changed how I viewed the world, how I listened to people, and how I spoke to people. It changed my way of life. In anthropology we spoke about this concept as well, and it helped me look at Cannibal cultures, not as gross and immoral, but just as a different culture, no better or worse than mine.
A topic that ethnocentrism helped me think and discuss about was “racism.” As we discussed racism, we had a group discussion about which country was more racist, Canada or the United States? Many said that the U.S.A. was much worse than Canada, because they were more open in how they persecuted people. Immediately, I understood that many people were being ethnocentric, and that Canada and the U.S.A. are equal in how racist they are.
Over the duration of this course I have changed to a in the way I view situations, there is always more than one story. The way I view people, we all have similarities and no one is better or worse than anyone else. And it has also allowed me to grow academically as a person. I feel like I have broadened my mind in certain aspects, and I have only take one Sociology course. This course has been a lot of fun and has encouraged me to make new friends and learn new things to expand my horizons.