Culture is one of the most powerful forces in the world. It shapes how we make sense of our world, how we express ourselves and how we understand and relate to others (ingroups and outgroups). Most ethnocentric bias and prejudice come from a difference in heritage, thinking and experiences. We tend to examine a situation from our own point of view and are often unable to apply principles of cultural relativism to individuals with whom we have differences. It is important to remember that we do not need to act on our biases and can override our automatic responses. By identifying our implicit and ethnocentric bias through personal reflection and cultural awareness we are more creative, better communicators, and more likely to engage in critical thinking and evaluating information. Cultural awareness does not mean that you must accept or condone behaviors; awareness is recognition that cultures and individuals within those cultures have been shaped through enculturation, ecology, resources and social norms that are appropriate, moral and just within their culture.
Culture and Psychology by L D Worthy; T Lavigne; and F Romero is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.