The term xenocentrism refers to the desire to engage in the elements of another's culture rather than one's own. Styles, ideas and products can all be items of preference by someone with xenocentrist viewpoints.
Examples of Xenocentrism (and Their Impact on Society)
Some Examples of Xenocentrism
- Americans' belief that European's produce superior automotive vehicles
- European Renaissance artists desire to emulate ancient Greek artwork
- Americans belief that French or Spanish wine is superior to what is produced by American vineyards
- The belief that cheeses in France are far superior to those in the United States
- The concept that the quality of Ireland's beer is far superior to that produced domestically
- Coveting the culture of another country such as in Central America where the work day is set up far differently than in the United States
- The belief that the way of dress by another culture is significantly superior and that those within one's native country should adopt that same dress
- The belief that other countries produce better children's toys
- The concept that a quality product can't be purchased in one's native country
- The idea that cloth to make clothes is better produced by other nations
Each of these different examples are situations where there is a preference for another culture outside of the culture in the home country.
In psychological terms, xenocentrism is considered a type of deviant behavior because it sways from the norms of society. It is unexpected that an individual would value the goods, services, styles, ideas and other cultural elements of another nation. However, in some limited circumstances, it has been noted that xenocentrism can help to shed light on cultural deficiencies, whether it be ideas or products, and offers the opportunity to fix that which may legitimately inferior to another country or culture.
It is also noted that self-perception and self esteem can contribute to xenocentrism. In certain circumstances, some individuals may attempt to elevate their perception among others by eschewing domestic products for foreign ones. By doing so, the individual believes she is painting herself in a better light as a more educated, worldly and savvy consumer.
The opposite of xenocentrism is ethnocentrism which is the tendency to overvalue one's own native cultural beliefs and values and therefore devalues the worth of the elements of other cultures.
Consequences of Xenocentrism
Some examples of the consequences of Xenocentrism include:
- Loss of businesses in the home country
- Loss of jobs in the home country
- Degraded economical situation
- Overall reduction of morale within the nation
- A loss of population to emigration
- Negative impact on the identity of others in relation to culture
- If adopted by large like-minded groups, xenocentrism could cause political polarization
As you can see, xenocentrism can be a major problem when it occurs in a society, especially if it occurs on a widespread scale.