Ethnocentrism in the Movie "Avatar"

884 words 4 pages
AN1001 Anthropology
Cultural Diversity in Global Perspective

Study Period 52, 2013, Singapore

Anthropologist at home in the field (Photo by J. Weiner 2003)
Subject Coordinator: Dr Anita Lundberg

ASSESSMENT TASK: Analysis of the film ‘Avatar’
QUESTION: How is ethnocentrism depicted in the film Avatar? Discuss with reference to the notions of primitivism, romanticism and exoticism.
TITLE: Ethnocentrism in Anthropological perspective - Avatar WORD COUNT: 681
TUTORIAL DAY & TIME: Wednesday 1.00pm – 2.50pm
Ethnocentrism in Anthropological perspective - Avatar
Using highly advanced technology to replicate and to creating false bodies which humans use to
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Romanticism, traditional people are seen as presenting a better past when humans were at one with nature (Lundberg, 2012). The Na’vi are highly appreciative of nature, as they believe that killing animal is merely to borrow what is needed from nature itself and their sacred tree is of high value to them but majority of the humans fail to understand as to them, ‘they are just trees’ (Cameron & Landau, 2009) just as “Science often violates simple common sense, ignoring the evidence of our senses.” (Diamond, J, 1994) As shown that humans are ignorant and showed disrespect to other cultures for their own greed. In conclusion, although the humans and the Na’vi behave differently they still share similar traits and aspects of ethnocentrism, this film perhaps shows that ‘it takes a cat to understand another cat’ meaning other culture maybe strange or different but when you become part of it, then perhaps then, you will truly understand and respect it.

Cameron, J, & Landau, J (Producers), & Cameron, J (Director). (2009). Avatar [Motion picture].
United States of America: 20th Century Fox.

Diamond, J (1994, November). Race without color. Discover magazine, P 75 - 76.

Lundberg, A. (2012). AN1001 Anthropology: Cultural Diversity in Global Perspective, Lecture 2 [PowerPoint document],
Retrieved from


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