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Related: West - white - Europe - bias - canon - ethnicity


Eurocentrism is the practice, conscious or otherwise, of placing emphasis on European (and, generally, Western) concerns, culture and values at the expense of those of other cultures. It is an instance of ethnocentrism, perhaps especially relevant because of its alignment with current and past real power structures in the world. It can be a less overt form of white supremacy.

The source of a cultural tradition can be seen in the balance of emphasis given to various thinkers and ideas in discussing a subject. In the 1960s a reaction against the priority given to a canon of "Dead White European Males" provided a slogan which neatly sums up the charge of eurocentrism (alongside other important -centrisms).

In Britain, eurocentric or eurocentrist may occasionally be used in political discourse to mean europhile. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurocentrism [Sept 2005]

Dead white European male

Dead white men or DWEM (an acronym standing for "Dead White European Male"), is a pejorative racial epithet used most commonly in reference to noted European males from the past. Particularly implied were such figures as Plato, Dante, Christopher Columbus, William Shakespeare and Isaac Newton.

Other typical "dead white males" include:

  • Ancient Greek philosophers
  • European philosophers, scientists, explorers and political figures
  • European and American authors (especially those in the traditional Literary canon)
  • Founding Fathers of the United States --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_White_Males [Sept 2005]

    See also: West - white - Europe - bias - canon - ethnicity - death - men

    Caucasian race

    The term Caucasian race is used almost exclusively in North America to mean "white" or of European ancestry, especially in government and census forms (see Caucasian type). In the United States, it is currently used primarily as a distinction based solely on skin color; however, it was once considered a useful taxonomical categorization of human racial groups based on a presumed common geographic, linguistic, and/or genetic origin.

    The term itself derives from measurements in craniology from the 19th century, and its name stems from the fact that its various ethnic groups were thought to have been originally from the region of the Caucasus mountains, itself imagined to be the location of Mount Ararat (where Noah's Ark eventually landed according to Biblical legend).

    Historically the term has been used to refer to people of European, Semitic, North African, Iranian-Afghan descent, as well as a very small mionority of the various peoples from the Indian Subcontinent.

    In Europe, "Caucasian" currently refers almost exclusively to people who are from the Caucasus. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caucasian_race [Jun 2005]

    Whiteness studies

    Whiteness studies is a controversial branch of academic scholarship which emerged circa 1997. As of 2004, according to The Washington Post, at least 30 institutions including Princeton University, the University of California at Los Angeles, and University of Massachusetts Amherst currently offer courses in whiteness studies.

    The central tenet of whiteness studies is a reading of history in which the very concept of race is said to have been created by a white power structure in order to justify discrimination against nonwhites. Advocates of whiteness studies argue that whites do not see their own whiteness racially, but regard race as something that "others" have; by emphasizing "whiteness," they seek to change white Americans' view of their own racial identity.

    Critics deride the field as a fad, or as a mask for racism against whites. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whiteness_studies [Aug 2004]

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