Effects of Ethnocentrism
Is ethnocentrism good or bad for people? First, we should have to decide how to define Allen innovations? From the Biblical Hebrews t nineteenth century Japan, ethnocentrism has been used to discourage the acceptance .of alien elements into the culture. Such efforts to prevent culture change are never entirely successful change came to both the Hebrews and the Japanese. Yet if people share a serene unquestioning faith in the goodness of their culture conviction so completely accepted that no proof is necessary-e-then change is delayed. In discouraging culture change, ethnocentrism is undiscriminating. It discourages both the changes which would disrupt the culture and the changes which would help it attain its goals.
Since no culture is completely static, every Cheshire must change if it is to survive. Ethnocentrism in India today helps to keep it
from turning communist, but India may not remain non communist unless it rapidly modernizes its technology and controls its population growth, and these changes are delayed by ethnocentrism. In an age of atom bombs and push button warfare, when the nations must probably either get together or die together, ethnocentrism helps to keep them tied to concepts of national sovereignty. Under some circumstances, then, ethnocentrism promotes cultural stability and group survival; under other circumstances, ethnocentrism dooms the culture to collapse and the' group to extinction. It is ironic that those seeking to promote change often fall because of their ethnocentrism. They dismiss "native" ways as useless and assume that our "modem" technology
must be superior. For example, American a cultural development programs have often failed because they tried to transplant American cattle, American crops, and American farm technology into undeveloped countries (see p. 530). Closer home, American sheep men are still clamoring to resume coyole poisoning, which is environmentally destructive and not even very effective [Jumbo, 1981; Stein hart, 1982]. They ignore a simple method of coyote control followed by t! e Navajo of Arizona for generations. The Navajo raise dogs with their sheep and do not ma.~e pets of them. The dogs protect the sheep, cost little, and do no environmental harm [Black, 1981]. Ethnocentric faith in high technology and disdain for "backward" peoples often blinds us to practicality.