- "Foreigners coming to live in the U.S. should adapt American ways."
- "Asians do many things backwards."
- "Much of the world’s population remains underdeveloped because they don’t take the initiative to develop themselves."
- "Americans have been very generous in teaching other people how to do things the right way."
- "English should be accepted as the universal language."
Q: Central theme in the counterproductive attitudes expressed above?
A: Ethnocentrism: a belief that your groups ways are the best ways.
Imagine a person working in development communication who heads into a development project abroad with the above attitudes. How would things work out?
The phrase "ugly American" comes, in part, from a novel about an American who travels abroad and expresses an ethnocentric attitude. The novel was also made into a film staring Marlon Brando.
Do you spot the ethnocentric attitude from John Smith in this Pocahontas clip?
* Of course, this could go the other way. People in other countries can have ethnocentric views toward the U.S. -- The ugly _____.
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See more about me at my web site WilliamHartPhD.com.