Nico Carlos Paque - Reading and Module #3

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Culture is a composite or multifarious area that comprises beliefs, practices, values, attitudes, laws, norms,
artifacts, symbols, knowledge, and everything that a person learns and shares as a member of society. As
mentioned by Dean Champion and his associates, “the range of variations between cultures is almost
endless and yet at the same time cultures ensemble one another in many important ways”. Somehow,
cultural variation is affected by man’s geographical set-up and social experiences. Cultural variation refers
to the differences in social behaviors that different cultures exhibit around the world.
Have you ever seen or eaten food from another place, such as dried squid or fried crickets, and thought of
it as weird and gross? This is an example of ethnocentrism! That means you use your own culture as the
center and evaluate other cultures based on it. You are judging or making assumptions about the food of
other countries based on your norms, values, or beliefs. Thinking “dried squid is smelly” or “people
shouldn’t eat insects” are examples of ethnocentrism in societies where people may not eat dried squid or
Is ethnocentrism bad or good? On the one hand, ethnocentrism can lead to negative judgments of the
behaviors of groups or societies. It can also lead to discrimination against people who are different. For
example, in many countries, religious minorities (religions that are not the dominant religion) often face
discrimination. But on the other hand, ethnocentrism can create loyalty among the same social group or
people in the same society. For example, during the World Cup or Olympics, you may tend to root for your
own country and believe that the players or teams representing your country are much better. National pride
is also part of ethnocentrism.
Ethnocentrism is the view that one's cultural elements such as norms values, ideology, customs,
and traditions are dominant and superior to others (Brown,2007).
William Graham Sumner (1906) coined the term ethnocentrism in his work Folkways which
served as the foundation in the social analysis of every culture. According to his definition,
ethnocentrism is a technical name to see things in which one's own cultural identity is the center
of everything over which all must be scaled, rated, and referred to. This perspective led to
conceited behavior and the belief of the superiority of one's group with great prejudice to outsiders.
While ethnocentrism takes the universal stage, which propels cohesion and continuity at all levels
of social structure, it provides a rational explanation for the attack made on other cultures or
subcultures in its extreme forms.
Sumner mentioned some characteristics of an individual with an ethnocentric view. Ethnocentric
● Have a dominant cultural element which they see as superior to other
● View rigidly their own socio-economic, political, and cultural elements.
● See their cultural elements as normal and acceptable to all.
● Consider in-group norms can be universalized.
● Discard out-group ethnicities and culture
● Believe the other cultures as inferior and
● Look at other cultures' elements as inferior and unacceptable.
- here are some of ethnocentric view sa mga ethnocentric person naa daw culture na
mas superior or mas labaw pas uban culture. and see their culture normal and
acceptable sa tanan, discard out-group ithink di sila mo pansin other culture and
believes other culture as inferior and unacceptable.
It can be seen in Philippine society that ethnocentrism is still emerging. The sense of identity seems
to be contributing reason for this. It goes deeper in our history that the mixture of different cultures
has created several identity marks resulting in our diverse cultural heritage, both tangible and
intangible. Also, our indigenous culture can be categorized as old, non-advanced technology with
no sense of modernity. After primitive age, we begin to the melting pot of western and oriental
cultures resulting in a shaky and complex identity attributed to us today. With this characteristic,
it is very difficult to blend this type of indigenous culture into the fast-changing society.
I think from what i understand about this statement sa last part is filipino culture is
just ano lang old non-advance and walang ka modern2 if wala naka contribute ang
country na nag colonize sato.
Chinof (2016) made some observations on how to address this growing concern on Filipino ethnocentrism.
1. Identify indigenous culture that truly reflects Filipino identity.
2. Eliminate foreign influences and stick to “home-grown" practices.
3. If we want to settle our identity, we must accept the good part of the foreign influences that come to us.
Although colonization by the Spaniards, Americans, and Japanese has caused a shift in several of our
cultural, social, political, and economic policies, it made the Philippines a single nation. Thus, the
Philippines today stands strongly behind our acceptance of our Filipino identity marked by our appreciation
of foreign influences. Truly, it is difficult to do away with these influences, because if we disregard them,
we will run the risk of being left with nothing but purely our own native culture and tradition that may
alienate us from the globalized world. We need to acknowledge their part in the richness of the tapestry that
is the Filipino culture.
To avoid judging the cultural practices of groups that are different from yours, we can use the cultural
relativism approach. Cultural relativism refers to not judging a culture to our standards of what is right or
wrong, strange, or normal. Instead, we should try to understand the cultural practices of other groups in
their cultural context. For example, instead of thinking, “Fried crickets are disgusting!” one should instead
ask, “Why do some cultures eat fried insects?”
Cultural relativism is the ability to understand a culture on its terms and not to make judgments using the
standards of one’s own culture. The goal of this is to promote understanding of cultural practices that are
not typically part of one’s own culture. Using the perspective of cultural relativism leads to the view that
no one culture is superior to another culture when compared to systems of morality, law, politics, and the
like. For example, you are assessing one’s culture by its standards rather than viewing it through the lens
of your own culture. On the other hand, ethnocentrism is a perception that arises from the fact that cultures
differ, and each culture defines reality differently. For example, you are judging another culture or person
solely based on your values and standards. You think you are superior to others.
Cultural relativism refers to an objective analysis of one’s own culture – seeing and understanding one’s
beliefs and traditions from his/her point of view. It also entails not judging the practices of others based on
your own culture; hence, respecting it in their cultural context. For example, you may find eating insects
unacceptable and disgusting practice. However, in Thailand, as well as parts of Central America like
Mexico, it is considered a delicacy. Instead of being prejudiced, one can pose an interesting question like
“Why do some cultures eat fried insects?”.
According to James Rachels (2003), the following claims have all been made by cultural relativists:
1. Each society has a diverse set of moral conducts.
2. The rightfulness of an action within a society is primarily determined by the moral standards of that
3. There is no objective standard that can be used as a basis for comparison among societies.
4. The moral code of our society is just part of a larger body of morality and ethical standards.
5. High tolerance among all cultures must be exercised always.
However, in his critical analysis, he also posited some observations and consequences of accepting cultural
1. It is difficult to determine if the custom of other societies is morally inferior to others.
2. The decision of whether actions are right or wrong can be done just by consulting the standards of our
3. The idea of moral progress is always questionable.
4. The objective criticism of one’s own culture is shallow.
5. There will be no idea of moral progress because of acceptance of others’ cultures.
The aspect of mutual respect and understanding must be observed. This is the first step towards a deeper
appreciation of one’s culture. Tolerance and acceptance of cultural diversities within the bounds of our own
moral and ethical standards can be a way to understand individual differences. Encouraging you to examine
the diversity of other cultures and explore the beliefs, values, and practices from the perspective of someone
else can help you understand the complex concept of cultural relativism.
Balena, Ederlina D., Lucero, Dolores M., and Peralta, Arnel M., Understanding Culture, Society and
Politics for Senior High School, Educational Resources Corporation, 11-B Sunshine Drive, Barangay
Bagong Lipunan ng Crame, Cubao, Quezon City: 2016
Brown, S. (2007). Ethnocentrism. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1002/9781405165518.wbeose069
Copez, S. (2013, Oct.5). Discrimination of Igorots. Retrieved from
Coping with the Bisaya Accent. (2013, Sept. 18). Retrieved from
http://www.ethnicgroupsphilippines.com/2013/09/18/coping-with-thebisaya-accent/ Chinof. (2016).
What Problem with Filipino Identity? Retrieved from
Malasig, J. (2019, Mar 20). Several Reasons Why Filipino Cuisine is Among Least Preferred Worldwide.
Retrieved from https://www.interaksyon.com/trendsspotlights/2019/03/20/146043/several-reasonswhy-filipino-cuisine-isamong-least-preferred-worldwide/
Rachels, J. (2003). The Elements of Moral Philosophy. Retrieved from
Valiente, T.G. (2015, Mar 14). When Folk Songs are Called Cheesy, the Nation Goes Stale. Retrieved from