Definition of terms1. Define the following terms in one to two sentences each: ethnocentrism, hate crime, stereotype.

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belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A Hate Crime is defined as any crime that is motivated partly by bias against a certain attribute, whether it be religion, color, or sexual orientation. Hate Crimes are popular accusations because they lay all the negative aspects of the crime itself on the perpetrator, with no considerations for other circumstances. By classifying a crime as a Hate Crime, it is possible to shift all opinion towards the victim, regardless of the objective situation. However, it is also considered biased to recognize that Hate Crimes receive more attention than "regular" crimes based solely on the name and the negative connotations, so most people accept the definition and then try to work within the boundaries of the law to mitigate or annul it.

enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The term "hatecrime," as others have suggested, reflects some of the politically correct Orwellian thinking of recent times.  Someone can hate all they desire; what's important is if they act upon that hatred. It's the action that is either criminal or not. Whatever a perpetrator's motivation, there is either a crime, or there is not. If there's a crime, there's been a violation of an individual's Rights. Someone ranting against someone else may not be desirable, but it is not a crime.


mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The term "hatecrime" is one of the twenty-first century's fixation upon political correctness as it has to do with crimes against minorities and the gay community.  After all, are not all crimes those of hate or some other malicious motive?  Why, for instance, is a killing of a minority by a Caucasian called by the media a "hatecrime" when the killing of Caucasians by minorities is not? Can each side not be as guilty of racial bias as the other? [For verification of this, see FBI statistics] 

vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ethnocentrism involves great attachment to one's own ethnic group, often to the point of disparaging other such groups.

A hate crime is an illegal act committed primarily because of hatred for another group of people.

A stereotype involves a very broad and general assumption about another person or group -- a kind of prediction about the traits of the group based on broad, often untested, generalizations.

rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ethnocentrism is judging other people by your own cultural standards. Hate crimes are crimes motivated by hatred for another group. Assaulting someone, for example, is a crime no matter what the motive. But if the motive is racism, heterosexism, or some other form of prejudice, then it could be classified as a hate crime. Stereotypes, on the other hand, are assumptions made about an entire group.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For me, ethnocentrism is more than just judging people by your standards.  It is assuming that your standards are better than anyone else's.  A person who is ethnocentric thinks that everyone should be like them.  It's a small difference, but it's the difference between saying "I would never wear a head scarf" and "Muslims are stupid and repressive because they make women wear head scarves."

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A stereotype is defined by the ways one puts someone into a category based upon characteristics typically assigned with a group. For example, (as much as I hate "South Park") the show plays on the stereotypes embedded in society. Therefore, a stereotype is a person whom is identified by the characteristics which align with the person's way of thinking regarding another's ethnicity or gender.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ethnocentrism suggests a kind of blindness, as you are so focussed on your own cultural identity that you are unable to separate that from the way that you look at the world and judge other people's cultures and lifestyles. It also implies that you think your culture and ethnicity is "the best," and that you therefore judge everybody else as being lesser than you.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
We are all a little ethnocentric at times. We cannot help but understand our own group more than others. It becomes an issue when it results in hate crimes or discrimination. The same is true for stereotypes. We all have them, but we have to make a point not to be ruled by them.