The Eurocentrism is a term used to describe the centrality and superiority of European view on the other world views. Eurocentric people only take European values into account.
In short, Eurocentrism is an ideological system, from which European culture is placed as the most important of the constitutive cultures of societies in the world, however, this view is considered as prejudiced, since it does not include other forms of expressions.
Eurocentrism in History
Eurocentrism was the centralizing factor of several moments in history. One of them is that of the great navigations, in the 16th century. When the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and English decided to conquer the territories overseas, the imposition of European culture was declared before the others that flourished in the American continent.
This position, seen as prejudiced, generated several conflicts and a lot of carnage, leading to the destruction of several populations that inhabited the American continent, of which the most prominent are: Mayans, Aztecs and several indigenous tribes.
In addition to America, many countries in Africa and Asia suffered from Eurocentrism, where the cultures of other peoples were considered exotic, however, in a pejorative sense. One of the great Eurocentric examples is the exposure of people of other ethnicities, who were taken to Europe as trophies.
Even though Eurocentrism has gone through several moments in history, it is possible to find its roots up to the present day. This Eurocentric view is currently noticed in several media, even in artistic expressions.
In this way, we can think of Europe today and its influence under the different countries of the world. Behind this, there is still an idealization instilled in people’s heads that “everything that comes from Europe is better” be it literature, music, dance, cultural, political, economic aspects, among others.
However, nowadays many researchers are trying to reverse this situation and bring out the importance of cultural diversity in the world. Therefore, with the globalization process, several stories that were relegated during times begin to acquire importance in the cultural scene. After all, cultural diversity must be seen as a value and not a problem.
Eurocentrism and Ethnocentrism
While the term eurocentrism is used only in relation to Europe and its position of centrality and importance in relation to other histories and cultures, ethnocentrism designates a type of prejudice where the culture in which the individual belongs is considered correct, while the others are considered absurd .
The concept of ethnocentrism, therefore, is used to define attitudes in which our habits and conduct are superior to those of others. Note that Eurocentrism is a type of ethnocentrism, however, the opposite only occurs if the reference culture is European.
In addition to ethnocentrism, xenophobia is a type of prejudice that is closely related to Eurocentrism, since it determines aversion to foreigners.