So last week in my Intro. to Cultural Anthropology class we watched some videos about some anthropological field work with some Amazonian tribes.
Today our instructor showed us some of the comments she has received from students in the past about these videos.
There was an extreme underlying theme of surprise, intolerance, and “ethnocentrism.” [Sorry I just had to use the new word lol. It means believing that your culture is best and everyone else’s culture is wrong]
It was shocking to me just narrow of a world view there is. I didn’t think it was that extreme, but apparently it is. Some of the things previous students said about the videos blows my mind, makes you realize that this person probably has never even considered the fact that there are other cultures and that maybe they do things differently.
This is a generalization, but I’ve always kind of had the idea that a lot of people who are so intolerant are staunchly religious. But this is obviously not true.
It seems crazy to me that people can still be like this when there is such an overload of information out there to be had. There’s so many shows on television about travel and culture; Word Travels, Departures, Long Way Round, etc. Even sitcoms and cooking shows deal with different cultures on a regular basis!
Sometimes its just plain naivety about the world, and people just have never been exposed to anything like this. However when you’ve been exposed to it, and you’ve had access to the information, why would you still choose to be ethnocentric and ignorant about the rest of the world?
Canada is supposedly a “melting pot” of culture, and there is still people like this. It makes me wonder about other countries (*coughUScough*) that are not so tolerant of other cultures, and how much more common these views might be.
There were lots of comments about people just being surprised by all the nudity, or the drugs, or the emphasis on warfare. But there were also so many people outright saying it many of these things are “wrong” and that the people are “primitive” and “savage.” It’s crazy to me that people are so set in their way that they can not even accept another culture for how they live.
It makes me wonder if the same people aren’t accepting of the people they know? I know I personally have trouble accepting people just for who they are, but I try. It makes me wonder if people with these opinions don’t even try to be accepting of any others? Do they even give people a chance? How can you possibly make friends if you aren’t willing to accept someone who does something slightly different from you? Is there really enough people around that do everything the same way you do that you never have to branch out and learn about new ideas? Isn’t acceptance a huge part of learning? How can you learn without accepting and trying to understand differences regardless of your preferences?
What are your experiences with acceptance issues?
edit: heres another question, why do some people want to raise their children to be have such a narrow view of the world, wouldn’t you want your child to learn and gain knowledge? Why would you voluntarily limit their access to information which could help them be a better global citizen?