Eurocentrism

Eurocentrism

Overview
Eurocentrism is the practice of viewing the world from a Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an perspective and with an implied belief, either consciously or subconsciously, in the preeminence of European culture. The term Eurocentrism was coined during the period of decolonisation in the late 20th century.

The Eurocentrism prevalent in international affairs
International relations
International relations is the study of relationships between countries, including the roles of states, inter-governmental organizations , international nongovernmental organizations , non-governmental organizations and multinational corporations...

 in the 19th century had its historical roots in European colonialism
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

 and imperialism
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

 from the Early Modern period
Early modern Europe
Early modern Europe is the term used by historians to refer to a period in the history of Europe which spanned the centuries between the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, roughly the late 15th century to the late 18th century...

 (16th to 18th centuries).
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Encyclopedia
Eurocentrism is the practice of viewing the world from a Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an perspective and with an implied belief, either consciously or subconsciously, in the preeminence of European culture. The term Eurocentrism was coined during the period of decolonisation in the late 20th century.

The Eurocentrism prevalent in international affairs
International relations
International relations is the study of relationships between countries, including the roles of states, inter-governmental organizations , international nongovernmental organizations , non-governmental organizations and multinational corporations...

 in the 19th century had its historical roots in European colonialism
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

 and imperialism
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

 from the Early Modern period
Early modern Europe
Early modern Europe is the term used by historians to refer to a period in the history of Europe which spanned the centuries between the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, roughly the late 15th century to the late 18th century...

 (16th to 18th centuries). Many international standards (such as the Prime Meridian
Prime Meridian
The Prime Meridian is the meridian at which the longitude is defined to be 0°.The Prime Meridian and its opposite the 180th meridian , which the International Date Line generally follows, form a great circle that divides the Earth into the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.An international...

, or the worldwide spread of the Common Era
Common Era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...

 and Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most recognized alphabet used in the world today. It evolved from a western variety of the Greek alphabet called the Cumaean alphabet, which was adopted and modified by the Etruscans who ruled early Rome...

) have their roots in this period. Eurocentrism is sometimes manifested as inability to respect other cultures and unprovoked aggression towards distant peoples. It also downplays the humanity and experience of others, viewing even European atrocities from the eyes of whites only, and not giving credence to the unalienable rights of others to self-determine and defend themselves.

Eurocentrism can be seen as European culture's desperation to affirm themselves, often as a unique entity separate from the rest of the world. It denies European technological ties to the rest of the Old World, and claims universal concepts (like capitalist competition) as being European "inventions". Veiled eurocentrism is often more noticeable to non-europeans when exhibited in academic literature. In general, eurocentrism is usually manifest in judgement of other cultures through a european lens. When europeans find their feelings of supremacy challenged by other accounts of history, eurocentrism can manifest itself in feelings of victimization, bitterness, or spite.

Eurocentrism often seeks to define Europe as a distinct entity, regardless of theological roots. Even though Christian philosophy, Etruscan art, Writing, and other fundamentals of european culture come directly from Asia Minor and the Near East, a eurocentric worldview often seeks to show the superiority of Western customs to analoguous developments in other, often earlier (or more original) cultures.

Terminology


The term Eurocentrism was coined relatively late, during the decolonisation period following World War II, based on an earlier adjective Europe-centric which came into use in the early 20th century. The term appears in precisely this form in the writings of the right-wing German writer Karl Haushofer
Karl Haushofer
Karl Ernst Haushofer was a German general, geographer and geopolitician. Through his student Rudolf Hess, Haushofer's ideas may have influenced the development of Adolf Hitler's expansionist strategies, although Haushofer denied direct influence on the Nazi regime.-Biography:Haushofer belonged to...

 during the 1920s. For instance, in Haushofer's 'Geo-Politics of the Pacific Space' (Geopolitik des pazifischen Ozeans), Haushofer contrasts this pacific space in terms of global politics to the 'European' and 'Europe-centric' (europa-zentrisch)(pp. 11–23, 110-113, passim).

The term Europocentrism appears in the 1970s, through the Marxist writings of Samir Amin
Samir Amin
Samir Amin is an Egyptian economist. He currently lives in Dakar, Senegal.- Biography :Samir Amin was born in Cairo, the son of an Egyptian father and a French mother . He spent his childhood and youth in Port Said; there he attended a French High School, leaving in 1947 with a Baccalauréat...

 as part of a global, core-periphery or dependency model of capitalist development. 'Eurocentrism' appears only by 1988, in the titles of Amin books as the definition of an ideology.

Origin in colonialism


Early Eurocentrism can be traced to the European Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, during which the revival of learning based on classical sources were focused on the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations, due to their being a significant source of contemporary European civilization.

The effects of these assumptions of European superiority increased during the period of European imperialism, which started slowly in the 15th century, accelerated by the Scientific Revolution
Scientific revolution
The Scientific Revolution is an era associated primarily with the 16th and 17th centuries during which new ideas and knowledge in physics, astronomy, biology, medicine and chemistry transformed medieval and ancient views of nature and laid the foundations for modern science...

, the Commercial Revolution
Commercial Revolution
The Commercial Revolution was a period of European economic expansion, colonialism, and mercantilism which lasted from approximately the 16th century until the early 18th century. It was succeeded in the mid-18th century by the Industrial Revolution. Beginning with the Crusades, Europeans...

 and the rise of colonial empires in the "Great Divergence
Great divergence
The Great Divergence, a term coined by Samuel Huntington , refers to the process by which the Western world The Great Divergence, a term coined by Samuel Huntington (also known as the European miracle, a term coined by Eric Jones in 1981), refers to the process by which the Western world The Great...

" of the Early Modern period
Early modern period
In history, the early modern period of modern history follows the late Middle Ages. Although the chronological limits of the period are open to debate, the timeframe spans the period after the late portion of the Middle Ages through the beginning of the Age of Revolutions...

, and reached its zenith in the 18th to 19th century with the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

 and a Second European colonization wave.

The progressively mechanised character of European culture was contrasted with traditional hunting, farming and herding societies in many of the areas of the world being newly conquered and colonised by Europeans, such as the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

, most of Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, and later the Pacific and Australasia
Australasia
Australasia is a region of Oceania comprising Australia, New Zealand, the island of New Guinea, and neighbouring islands in the Pacific Ocean. The term was coined by Charles de Brosses in Histoire des navigations aux terres australes...

. Many European writers of this time construed the history of Europe as paradigmatic for the rest of the world. Other cultures were identified as having reached a stage through which Europe itself had already passed—primitive hunter-gatherer
Hunter-gatherer
A hunter-gatherer or forage society is one in which most or all food is obtained from wild plants and animals, in contrast to agricultural societies which rely mainly on domesticated species. Hunting and gathering was the ancestral subsistence mode of Homo, and all modern humans were...

; farming; early civilisation; feudalism
Feudalism
Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.Although derived from the...

; and modern liberal-capitalism. Only Europe was considered to have achieved the last stage.

For some writers, such as Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

, the centrality of Europe to an understanding of world history did not imply any innate European superiority, but he nevertheless assumed that Europe provided a model for the world as a whole. Others looked forward to the expansion of modernity throughout the world through trade, imperialism
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

 or both.

The colonising period involved the widespread settlement of parts of the Americas and Australasia with European people, and the establishment of outposts and colonial administrations in parts of Asia and Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

. As a result, the majority populations of the Americas, Australia and New Zealand typically trace their ancestry to Europe. A Eurocentric history is taught in such countries, despite geographic isolation from Europe, with many European cultural traditions.

The longitude meridians of world maps based on the prime meridian
Prime Meridian
The Prime Meridian is the meridian at which the longitude is defined to be 0°.The Prime Meridian and its opposite the 180th meridian , which the International Date Line generally follows, form a great circle that divides the Earth into the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.An international...

, placing Greenwich, London in the centre, has been in use since 1851. Various other prime meridians were in use during the Age of Exploration. The current prime meridian has the advantage that it places the International Date Line
International Date Line
The International Date Line is a generally north-south imaginary line on the surface of the Earth, passing through the middle of the Pacific Ocean, that designates the place where each calendar day begins...

 in the Pacific, inconveniencing the smallest number of people.

The European Miracle


"European miracle" – a term coined by Eric Jones in 1981 – refers to the surprising rise of Europe during the Early Modern period
Early modern period
In history, the early modern period of modern history follows the late Middle Ages. Although the chronological limits of the period are open to debate, the timeframe spans the period after the late portion of the Middle Ages through the beginning of the Age of Revolutions...

. During the 15th to 18th centuries, a "great divergence
Great divergence
The Great Divergence, a term coined by Samuel Huntington , refers to the process by which the Western world The Great Divergence, a term coined by Samuel Huntington (also known as the European miracle, a term coined by Eric Jones in 1981), refers to the process by which the Western world The Great...

" took place, comprising the European Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, age of discovery
Age of Discovery
The Age of Discovery, also known as the Age of Exploration and the Great Navigations , was a period in history starting in the early 15th century and continuing into the early 17th century during which Europeans engaged in intensive exploration of the world, establishing direct contacts with...

, the formation of the colonial empire
Colonial empire
The Colonial empires were a product of the European Age of Exploration that began with a race of exploration between the then most advanced maritime powers, Portugal and Spain, in the 15th century...

s, the Age of Reason
Age of reason
Age of reason may refer to:* 17th-century philosophy, as a successor of the Renaissance and a predecessor to the Age of Enlightenment* Age of Enlightenment in its long form of 1600-1800* The Age of Reason, a book by Thomas Paine...

 and the associated leap forward in technology
Technology
Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ;...

, and the development of capitalism
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

 and early industrialisation
Industrialisation
Industrialization is the process of social and economic change that transforms a human group from an agrarian society into an industrial one...

. The result was that by the 19th century, European powers dominated world trade and world politics.

European Exceptionalism


During the European colonial era encyclopedias under the lemma "Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

" often sought to give a rationale for the predominance of European rule during the colonial period by referring to a special position taken by Europe compared to the other continents.

Thus, Johann Heinrich Zedler
Johann Heinrich Zedler
Johann Heinrich Zedler was a bookseller and publisher. His most important achievement was the creation of a German encyclopedia, the Grosses Universal-Lexicon ,...

 in 1741 wrote that "even though Europe is the smallest of the world's four continents, it has for various reasons a position that places it before all others ... its inhabitants have excellent customs
Mores
Mores, in sociology, are any given society's particular norms, virtues, or values. The word mores is a plurale tantum term borrowed from Latin, which has been used in the English language since the 1890s....

, they are courteous and erudite in both sciences and crafts."
The Brockhaus Enzyklopädie
Brockhaus Enzyklopädie
The Brockhaus Enzyklopädie is a German-language encyclopedia published by Brockhaus.The first edition originated in the Conversations-Lexikon mit vorzüglicher Rücksicht auf die gegenwärtigen Zeiten by Renatus Gotthelf Löbel and Christian Wilhelm Franke, published in Leipzig 1796-1808...

 of 1854 still has an ostensibly Eurocentric approach, claiming that Europe "due to its geographical situation and its cultural and political significance is clearly the most important of the five continents, over which it has gained a most influential government both in material and even more so in cultural aspects."

Even during colonialism, western thought generally recognized the achievements of non-Western civilizations, mostly Near East
Near East
The Near East is a geographical term that covers different countries for geographers, archeologists, and historians, on the one hand, and for political scientists, economists, and journalists, on the other...

ern, India
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

n and Chinese
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, while the "primitive
Primitive culture
In older anthropology texts and discussions, the term "primitive culture" is used to refer to a society that is believed to lack cultural, technological, or economic sophistication/development...

" tribal cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa as a geographical term refers to the area of the African continent which lies south of the Sahara. A political definition of Sub-Saharan Africa, instead, covers all African countries which are fully or partially located south of the Sahara...

 and of the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

 were generally seen as inferior, though by the 18th century they also became idealized in art as the noble savage
Noble savage
The term noble savage , expresses the concept an idealized indigene, outsider , and refers to the literary stock character of the same...

 stereotype and in primitivism
Primitivism
Primitivism is a Western art movement that borrows visual forms from non-Western or prehistoric peoples, such as Paul Gauguin's inclusion of Tahitian motifs in paintings and ceramics...

.

Eurocentrism in literature


Much of the cultural work of building and sustaining Eurocentrism was done in popular genres of literature, especially literature for young adults (for example Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling
Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English poet, short-story writer, and novelist chiefly remembered for his celebration of British imperialism, tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. Kipling received the 1907 Nobel Prize for Literature...

's Kim
Kim
-Names:* Kim * Kim * Kim * Kim, Vietnamese form of Jin -Places:* KIM, IATA code for Kimberley Airport in South Africa* Kim, Colorado, United States* Kim, a town near Surat, Gujarat, India...

) and adventure literature in general. Popular novelists like Edgar Rice Burroughs
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Edgar Rice Burroughs was an American author, best known for his creation of the jungle hero Tarzan and the heroic Mars adventurer John Carter, although he produced works in many genres.-Biography:...

 supported the political and military builders of Western empires by presenting idealized (and often exaggeratedly masculine) Western heroes who conquered 'savage' peoples in the remaining 'dark spaces' of the globe. Similarly, the works of J.R.R Tolkien also depict "white" heroes battling against the "black-skinned" Orcs and the "swarthy" men of Harad
Harad
In J. R. R. Tolkien's epic fantasy legendarium, Harad was the name for the immense lands south of Gondor and Mordor. Called Haradwaith from the people who lived there, it literally means "South-folk", from the Sindarin harad, "South" and gwaith, "people"...

, although whether or not these are racial allusions are a matter of debate.

Eurocentrism compared to other ethnocentrisms



There has been some debate on whether historical Eurocentrism qualifies as "just another ethnocentrism" as it is found in most of the world's cultures, and especially in cultures with imperial
Empire
The term empire derives from the Latin imperium . Politically, an empire is a geographically extensive group of states and peoples united and ruled either by a monarch or an oligarchy....

 aspirations, as in the Sinocentrism
Sinocentrism
Sinocentrism is an ethnocentric perspective that regards China to be the center of civilization and superior to all other nations. The related but distinct concept of the superiority of the Han Chinese ethnicity both within and without China is known as Han chauvinism.- Overview and context...

 in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, which is natively known as 中國, literally the "central kingdom"; in the Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

 (c. 1868-1945), or during the American Century
American Century
American Century is a term used to describe the United States' dominance of much of the 20th century, in political, economic and cultural terms. The United States' influence grew throughout the 20th century, but became especially dominant after the end of World War II, when only two superpowers...

.

James M. Blaut argued that Eurocentrism did indeed go beyond other ethnocentrisms, due to the formation of a "colonizer’s model of the world" as a result of the unprecedented scale of imperial expansion during the colonial period.

In Academia


African scholars such as Molefi Asante have categorically highlighted the prevalence of Eurocentric thought in the processing of much of academia on African affairs. On the other hand, in an article titled 'Eurocentrism and Academic Imperialism' professor Seyed Mohammad Marandi from the University of Tehran states that Eurocentric thought exists in almost all aspects of academia, in many parts of the world, and especially in the humanities. Edgar Alfred Bowring
Edgar Alfred Bowring
Edgar Alfred Bowring was a British translator, author and civil servant, serving as librarian and registrar to the Board of Trade , secretary to the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, and Liberal Member of Parliament for Exeter .He was the youngest son of Sir John Bowring, and brother of...

 states that: In no other major civilization do self-regard, self-congratulation and denigration of the ‘Other’ run as deep, nor have these tendencies infected as many aspects of their thinking, laws, and policy, as they have in Western Europe and its overseas extensions. Alik Shahadah notes that: The Eurocentric discourse on Africa is in error because those foundational paradigms which inspired the study in the first place were rooted in the denial of African agency; political intellectualism bent on its own self-affirmation rather than objective study.

Early anticolonialism


Even in the 19th century, anti-colonial movements had developed claims about national traditions and values that were set against those of Europe. In some cases, as with China, where local ideology was even more exclusionist than the Eurocentric one, Westernisation did not overwhelm long-established Chinese attitudes to its own cultural centrality.

In Central America and South America a merger of immigrant and native histories was constructed. Nationalist movements appropriated the history of native civilizations such as the Mayans and Incas, to construct models of cultural identity that claimed a fusion between immigrant and native identity.

At the same time, the intellectual traditions of Eastern cultures were becoming more widely known in the West, mediated by figures such as Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore , sobriquet Gurudev, was a Bengali polymath who reshaped his region's literature and music. Author of Gitanjali and its "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse", he became the first non-European Nobel laureate by earning the 1913 Prize in Literature...

. By the early 20th century some historians such as Arnold J. Toynbee
Arnold J. Toynbee
Arnold Joseph Toynbee CH was a British historian whose twelve-volume analysis of the rise and fall of civilizations, A Study of History, 1934–1961, was a synthesis of world history, a metahistory based on universal rhythms of rise, flowering and decline, which examined history from a global...

 were attempting to construct multi-focal models of world civilizations.

Decolonization



Since the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the former worldwide dominance of European culture has waned drastically (decolonisation). The change has been most drastic in the USA, triggered by the 1950s to 1960s civil rights movement
Civil rights movement
The civil rights movement was a worldwide political movement for equality before the law occurring between approximately 1950 and 1980. In many situations it took the form of campaigns of civil resistance aimed at achieving change by nonviolent forms of resistance. In some situations it was...

 and perpetuated by the political correctness
Political correctness
Political correctness is a term which denotes language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, certain other religions, beliefs or ideologies, disability, and age-related contexts,...

 of the 1970s to 1980s. Today, Eurocentrism remains a topic in the U.S. "culture wars", notably when juxtaposed to Afrocentrism
Afrocentrism
Afrocentrism is cultural ideology mostly limited to the United States, dedicated to the history of Black people a response to global racist attitudes about African people and their historical contributions by revisiting this history with an African cultural and ideological center...

, but its prominence is limited compared to topics of religion or social issues.

Peters World Map


The Mercator projection distorts areas further from the equator, making the Arctic
Arctic
The Arctic is a region located at the northern-most part of the Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada, Russia, Greenland, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The Arctic region consists of a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by treeless permafrost...

 and the Antarctic
Antarctic
The Antarctic is the region around the Earth's South Pole, opposite the Arctic region around the North Pole. The Antarctic comprises the continent of Antarctica and the ice shelves, waters and island territories in the Southern Ocean situated south of the Antarctic Convergence...

, but to a lesser degree also Europe and North America and Northern Asia, appear disproportionately large compared to areas closer to the equator, such as Africa or Central America.

Arno Peters
Arno Peters
Arno Peters developed the Peters world map, based on the Gall–Peters projection.Born in Berlin, Germany, he began his career as a filmmaker who studied American techniques of filmmaking during the late 1930s, and helped to revolutionize film production in Germany at the time...

 highlighted the political implications of map design, and in an attempt to counteract Eurocentric bias that may be implicit in the Mercator projection promoted the Gall-Peters projection, which he introduced in 1974.
Peters' map was endorsed by German Chancellor Willy Brandt
Willy Brandt
Willy Brandt, born Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm , was a German politician, Mayor of West Berlin 1957–1966, Chancellor of West Germany 1969–1974, and leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany 1964–1987....

, who esteemed it as "a powerful symbol of the equality of nations", and the map found subsequently its way on to the walls of every head and branch office of every United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 agency.
Several scholars have remarked on the irony of the projection's undistorted presentation of the mid latitudes (45 degrees north and south), which includes Peters's native Germany and large parts of Europe, at the expense of the low latitudes.

See also

  • Commercial Revolution
    Commercial Revolution
    The Commercial Revolution was a period of European economic expansion, colonialism, and mercantilism which lasted from approximately the 16th century until the early 18th century. It was succeeded in the mid-18th century by the Industrial Revolution. Beginning with the Crusades, Europeans...

  • Pan-European identity
    Pan-European identity
    Pan-European identity refers to the sense of personal identification with Europe. The most concrete examples of pan-europeanism are the European Union and the older Council of Europe...

  • Western culture
    Western culture
    Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization or European civilization, refers to cultures of European origin and is used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, religious beliefs, political systems, and specific artifacts and...

  • History of Western civilization
    History of western civilization
    Roots of the Western civilization in its broader sense may be traced back to 9000 BC, when around the headwaters of the Euphrates, Tigris, and Jordan Rivers farming began, spreading outwards across Europe; the West thus produced the world's first cities, states, and empires. However, Western...

  • European identity


Criticism:
  • Orientalism
    Orientalism
    Orientalism is a term used for the imitation or depiction of aspects of Eastern cultures in the West by writers, designers and artists, as well as having other meanings...

  • Universalism in geography
    Universalism in geography
    Universalism, when used in Human Geography, signals the position that ideas of development produced in Western social sciences hold for all times and places,. Universalist thinking began in the Age of Enlightenment when philosophers decided on “truths” that could explain occurrences rationally and...



Geocultural perspectives:
  • Afrocentrism
    Afrocentrism
    Afrocentrism is cultural ideology mostly limited to the United States, dedicated to the history of Black people a response to global racist attitudes about African people and their historical contributions by revisiting this history with an African cultural and ideological center...

  • Americentrism
    Americentrism
    Americentrism is a term referring to the ethnocentric and xenophobic practice of viewing the world from an explicitly American perspective, with an implied belief, either consciously or subconsciously, in the preeminence of American culture.Among others, U.S. broadcasting networks and U.S...

  • Sinocentrism
    Sinocentrism
    Sinocentrism is an ethnocentric perspective that regards China to be the center of civilization and superior to all other nations. The related but distinct concept of the superiority of the Han Chinese ethnicity both within and without China is known as Han chauvinism.- Overview and context...


External links