Although the rapid, fast paced changes in the technological field of modern society would indicate a movement steering away from ethnocentrism, the reality suggests otherwise. At this highly “sophisticated” age, where all information lies between our fingertips and a keyboard, one would assume that as a society we are becoming more exposed, educated and aware of the world as it exists outside this “protective” bubble we call America. This type of ethnocentrism appears to be more of an arrogant-ignorance approach, rather than that of on overly confident accomplisher. However, the ethnocentrism of an ignorant nature is displayed, mainly, by the masses. Those in positions of power and authority use other techniques to further promote ethnocentrism.
In a class discussion (a few years ago) where the professor asked the students to identify one of the ongoing conflicts in Asia, not one student was able or well informed to provide an answer. It’s not like the information isn’t provided! It’s there at uncle Google’s living room! The youth of today is a product of this society; a society whose level of authority has taken the approach of sedating our minds with unnecessary and seemingly entertaining information. In the news, stories related to Britney Spears flip-flops, and cats being trapped between walls seem to be given much more importance than wars, poor living conditions, and political turmoil else where in the world. This type of attitude suggests a high level of self-absorbance. It is instilled into us, forcefully though indirectly, on a collective level by those in power and is hardly questioned by the masses.
Many New York City subway riders read a paper distributed for free, which can be read from cover to cover in about 5-7 minutes. Many of those who aren’t reading occupy their time with their blackberries, or video games, or portable DVDs and iPods. Have our lives become so uneventful and one-sided that we need to constantly be entertained? I think not. Steering away from ethnocentrism requires a much broader, indepth awareness. This awareness, however, does not seem to be promoted or encouraged. Instead, the advancement of technology is used to further sedate and occupy our thoughts.
Furthermore, on an individual level, we make this approach our own.
Ethnocentrism of today’s society, particularly as it affects our youth, might begin at first innocently or unintentionally. Cellulars, text messaging, instant messaging, network websites are used at all times, seemingly, for delivering information that seems to hold little or no substance. And yet, we seem to be almost addicted to our toys and gadgets, repeatedly checking for new messages, comments, news, gossip, etc. This is how we become wrapped and submerged in a reality so small and one dimensional that we forget about our surroundings.
My two cents. What does the web world think?