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Eurocentrism

Eurocentrism is the practice, conscious or otherwise, of placing emphasis on European (and, generally, Western) theories and ideas at the expense of those of other cultures.

Implicit in this definition is the assumption that Western concepts are fundamentally different from those in other cultures or civilizations. A somehow contradictory but equally important implication is the assumption that Western concepts are universal. That is, they have comprise a universal cultural currency into which elements of other cultures can relatively easily convert.

There are a number of such Western concepts, always in a process of flux. Usually, ideas defined as Western in nature include individualism, human rights, secular authority and law, and the separation of religion and state.

It is possible that eurocentrism grew out of such concepts as the white man's burden, or rather, the universality of humanism and principles derived from Judeo-Christian ethical system, recognized by Humanity regardless of origin.

In Britain this term is often used to refer to pro European Union views, or European Union-centrism. Very often this is used as a derogatory term. For example, if a politician says "Being in the Euro zone would help companies trade with Europe", a response might be "We all know that you have a typical Eurocentric viewpoint, and don't care about British sovereignty so why should you care about British trade? Your real agenda is taking power from Westminster and giving it to Brussels.".

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