Is Universalism Ethnocentric? Essay by Jay2005

Is Universalism Ethnocentric?
Poses the question of whether or not universalism gives rise to ethnocentrism.
# 57064 | 2,000 words | 7 sources | APA | 2005

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For many years, moral philosophy has been dominated by universalist and particularist ideas, both of which offer some important insights into social relationships of all kinds. Universalism is best summarized by the image of the American "melting pot," which suggests that over time, individuals in a multicultural society tend to share more values, beliefs, and behaviors than not. Ethnocentrism, in contrast, is understood as a particularist view in which differences rather than similarities are valued. This research report argues that, in some cultures, there is a link between universalistic perspectives on moral issues and ethnocentrism. This is because what becomes a universal belief or value in a culture tends to represent the views of the majority group within that culture. Majority groups are shown to be essentially ethnocentric and likely to impose their views on all subgroups within society.

From the Paper:

"Immanuel Wallerstein believes that there are multiple universalisms which do not necessarily have equal weight and place. The existence of multiple universalisms is seen by Wallerstein as creating a world in which multiple identities and group affiliations is inescapable. Religion is one of the unifying forces within and across societies, but it is hardly alone in exerting a major influence on in and out group. Nationality and culture, a noted above, are equally influential, but Wallerstein suggests that the history of the past two decades has taught us never to underestimate the normative and political influence exerted by religion itself."

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APA Format

Is Universalism Ethnocentric? (2005, March 21) Retrieved September 16, 2019, from

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"Is Universalism Ethnocentric?" 21 March 2005. Web. 16 September. 2019. <>