Xenocentrism: Concept in Sociology and Examples

Xenocentrism: A preference for the products, styles, or ideas of a different culture. Cultures vary across various regions, both in material and non-material terms. The process of globalization has made it possible for us to know about the other cultures that exist around the world and further get in touch with the global markets, this gives us access to the various products, styles, and lifestyles of the cultures outside our own. The knowledge of other foreign cultures is what gives rise to xenocentrism, which is the tendency to value others culture, values, styles, products, etc, more than our own.

Xenocentrism is the opposite of ethnocentrism, which means to value one’s own culture more than the other’s culture. This perception of one’s culture in comparison to other’s plays a great role in how we perceive the individuals around us and the groups that we are a part of. We may often look at another culture if we perceive that it entails something that is missing in our own culture. E.g. a teenager living in India may become aware of the existing individualism and a sense of freedom existing in the American society given to others his/her own age and hence will aspire to attain that.

We often also look up to other culture simply because we may believe them to be better than our own, e.g. The Americans often believe that the vine found and produced in France and Spain is more superior than that which is produced in its own vineyards, we find that they often also believe that the cheese produced in France is more superior to the Cheese which is produced in the United States.

Much of the credit for the rise of xenocentrism can be given to the globalization that has taken place, this enables us to gain access to material as well as non-material cultures of other countries. Such access becomes more intense with the coming in of the ability to purchase products that are available abroad, getting foreign products is now just a click away, due to the shopping applications, they get us the products at our doorstep simply sitting at home.

This helps the foreign economy grow as they are able to sell their products outside of their own country, they are able to do so for a higher price, and attach a shipping cost to it and thus being able to gain more profit out of it.

Xenocentrism leads to cultural diffusion, which is the spread of culture. It may also lead to hostility towards one’s own culture, as one may find that the other culture is superior to their own and tend to lean more towards that culture. This plays hence a great role in how and which culture we choose to adopt, and with which culture we relate more or adopt its mannerisms more.

Thus there is a greater sense of knowledge of other’s culture which drives one to view it as superior and aspire for it.

Difference between Ethnocentrism and Xenocentrism

Ethnocentrism means The tendency to look at the world primarily from the perspective of one’s own traditional, deferred, or adoptive ethnic culture, while Xenocentrism means a preference for the products, styles, or ideas of a different culture.





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Aishani Menon, a sociologist, communicates her thoughts through words. She values learning, seeing it as the catalyst for growth, and believes that the best writing stems from continuous knowledge