Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo


  • Carolyn Hibbs
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_96


Ethnocentrism is the evaluation of individuals and cultures based on the perspectives, standards, and values of another cultural group. This evaluation relies on the assumption that one’s own racial or ethnic group is the most important, valuable, and superior. However, the term ethnocentrism may obscure implicit hierarchies within these perspectives, standards, and values; cultural evaluation relies largely on the perspectives of the dominant culture in a given situation, based on a hierarchical ordering of ethnic groups. Ethnocentrism may be seen as a subtle and often unacknowledged form of racism which operates on a continuum which includes explicit racism, and shadeism or pigmentocracy – hierarchies within racialized groups which value lighter skin tones more highly (Thiyagirajah, Han, McAdams, Rider, & Rodriguez, 2011) – but is also informed by the history of colonialism and globalization. Parallels may be made between the research on androcentrism and on...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Anderson, K. (1996). Engendering race research: Unsettling the self-other dichotomy. In N. Duncan (Ed.), Bodyspace: Destabilizing geographies of gender and sexuality (pp. 195–208). Florence, KY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Back, L. (1994). The ‘White Negro’ revisited: Race and masculinities in South London. In A. Cornwall & N. Lindisfarne (Eds.), Dislocating masculinity: Comparative ethnographies (pp. 171–182). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Bashi, V., & McDaniel, A. (1997). A theory of immigration and racial stratification. Journal of Black Studies, 27(5), 668–682.Google Scholar
  4. Delgado, R., & Stefancic, J. (2001). Critical race theory: An introduction. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Fairchild, H. H. (1991). Scientific racism: The cloak of objectivity. Journal of Social Issues, 47(3), 101–115.Google Scholar
  6. Fanon, F. (1963). The wretched of the earth (C. Farrington, Trans.). New York: Grove Press.Google Scholar
  7. Fischer-Tiné, H. (2004). Colonialism as civilizing mission: Cultural ideology in British India. London: Anthem.Google Scholar
  8. Frankenberg, R. (1993). White women, race matters: The social construction of whiteness. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  9. hooks, b. (2000). Feminist theory: From margin to center. Cambridge, MA: South End Press.Google Scholar
  10. Hunn, L. M. (2004). Africentric philosophy: A remedy for Eurocentric dominance. New directions for adult and continuing education, 102(Summer), 66–74.Google Scholar
  11. Ilaiah, K. (2009). Post-Hindu India: A discourse in Dalit-Bahujan, socio-spiritual and scientific revolution. New Delhi, India: Sage.Google Scholar
  12. Kipling, R. (1899/2006). The white man’s burden. In S. Greenblatt, & M. H. Abrams (Eds.), The Norton anthology of English literature (8th ed.). New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
  13. Mama, A. (1995). Beyond the masks: Race, gender and subjectivity. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. McClintock, A. (1995). Imperial leather: Race, gender, and sexuality in the colonial contest. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. McGee, W. J. (1900). Primitive numbers. Annual report of the Bureau of American Ethnology (1897–1898), 19, 825–851.Google Scholar
  16. Morrison, T. (1992). Playing in the dark: Whiteness and the literary imagination. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Pratto, F., Hegarty, P., & Korchmairos, J. (2007). Who gets stereotyped? How communication practices and category norms lead people to stereotype particular people and groups. In Y. Kashima, K. Fiedler, & P. Freytag (Eds.), Stereotype dynamics: Language-based approaches to stereotype formation, maintenance, and change. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  18. Rieger, J. (2004). Theology and mission between neocolonialism and postcolonialism. Mission Studies, 21(2), 201–227.Google Scholar
  19. Rush, S. E. (1997). Equal protection analogies – identity and passing: Race and sexual orientation. Harvard Blackletter Law Journal, 13, 65–106.Google Scholar
  20. Said, E. W. (1979). Orientalism. New York: Vintage.Google Scholar
  21. Said, E. W. (1993). Culture and imperialism. New York: Vintage.Google Scholar
  22. Sartre, J. P. (1964/2001). Colonialism and neocolonialism. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  23. Shields, S. A. (2008). Gender: An intersectionality perspective. Sex Roles, 59(5–6), 301–311.Google Scholar
  24. Shohat, E., & Stam, R. (1994). Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the media. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. Smith, L. T. (1999). Decolonizing methodologies: Research and indigenous peoples. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  26. Teo, T., & Febbraro, A. R. (2003). Ethnocentrism as a form of intuition in psychology. Theory & Psychology, 13(5), 673–694.Google Scholar
  27. Thiyagirajah, N., Han, B., McAdams, L., Rider, D., & Rodriguez, V. (Writers). (2011). Shadeism. In D. Rider (Producer). Canada: Vimeo. http://vimeo.com/16210769
  28. Yuval-Davis, N., & Cain, H. (1993). Racialized boundaries: Race, nation, gender, colour and class and the anti-racist struggle. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

Online Resources

  1. Colorlines: News for action. http://www.colorlines.com/
  2. The crunk feminist collective. http://crunkfeministcollective.wordpress.com/
  3. Incite: Women of color against violence. http://www.incite-national.org/
  4. Microaggressions: Power, privilege, and everyday life. http://microaggressions.tumblr.com/
  5. Racialicious: The intersection of race and pop culture. http://www.racialicious.com/

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Humanities, York UniversityTorontoCanada