THESE IDEOLOGIES DO NOT JUST OCCUR AT THE INDIVIDUAL LEVEL.
Politics in the United States has often been an important topic of discussion, but America’s
political system is often streaked with western perspectives and ideologies that continue to
support many inequalities across the nation. These ideologies are referred to as eurocentrism.
According to Merriam-Webster, Eurocentric is defined as “reflecting a tendency to interpret the world in terms of European or Anglo-American values and experiences.” This centers around the idea of western civilization and implies the superiority of Western societies over non-Western ones.
What are Eurocentric ideologies?
Eurocentrism includes many ideologies of what Western societies think the world should look like. According to Psychology Research and Reference, this includes promoting individualism, competitiveness, hierarchical decision-making processes, standard English, a rigid time orientation, the idea of “whiteness,” and others. Included in this view is the idea that people should follow Judeo-Christian beliefs and a Protestant work ethic.
But as more and more people of differing cultures, backgrounds, races, and ethnicities move to the U.S., the Eurocentric worldview expects people to adopt these same ideologies. Those who do not adopt these ideologies are often unfairly discriminated against and viewed at in a negative manner.
These ideologies do not just occur at the individual level. We often see eurocentrism on a cultural level, as well as on an institutional level.
Where are we seeing this in our political system?
Eurocentrism was developed based on western and European perspectives, which can often lead to racism. Eurocentrism focuses on this concept of “whiteness,” but with this also comes a biased opinion of superiority over others.
In politics, we often hear stories about racism in the country. But we also see an unfair amount of representation in our political system. According to the Congressional Research Service, there have only been 162 African Americans who have served in Congress from 1870 to 2020. The Eurocentric ideologies of “whiteness” have led to an unfair representation of races and ethnicities in the U.S.’s political system. These ideologies continue to support “whiteness” as being superior over others.
The ideology of English as the standard language has also affected politics. By promoting the idea of making English our standard language, people who speak a foreign language are discriminated against. This idea that Western societies who speak English are superior over other non-Western societies places these people in an unfair and negative light.
Eurocentrism has created many racial problems in our political system and country, and it’s important that we recognize where these issues are located in order to create a more fair and welcoming society.