On Ethnocentrism and MTV’s “Exiled”

2 Dec

Amanda and Josephine in Kenya, from MTV’s “Exiled”

After watching the Amanda-in-Kenya episode of MTV’s Exiled in class, let’s discuss that show in the context of this class. Draw on this episode, Christmas in the Kalahari, and Lia Lee’s story to discuss whether:

1) How might the show “Exiled” be offensive to the citizens of the developing countries the participants visit? What is the significance of”Exiled” visiting these countries instead of staying in the US?

2) How can we prevent, or counteract, ethnocentrism?

3) Is “Exiled” an effective way of changing the perspectives of folks who participate by introducing them to the “harsh realities” of the communities they visit? What message do you feel MTV was trying to communicate?

Respond to at least one prompt AND respond to at least one colleague. Two comments total, due by Tuesday 12/4.


17 Responses to “On Ethnocentrism and MTV’s “Exiled””

  1. czechmate23 December 3, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    Feel like exiled would be offensive beucase the entire time you have this one person being rude and offensive to your culture. The significance of these exiled coming to these different counries is to gain a different veiw on the world.

    We can prevent ethnocentrism this by not bring things from our country to others, also by getting people to see the other sides of the words then just seeing where they where born

    Feel like they should not be allowed to take there items to these different countires. But MTV is trying to show these people that the world is not like they think it is

  2. musamatiwane December 3, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    I think the show Exiled might be offensive to the people of these developing countries because of the way they portray these people. In the episode we watched I noticed the use of intense dramatic music whenever Amanda witnessed something she was not used to. I also think that the point of a show like Exiled is filmed outside of our country because it will have a more dramatic affect on an audience.

    I think that we can prevent ethnocentrism by always keeping an open mind. If you allow yourself to think beyond what you see and what you believe you might have a greater understanding of a culture or act.

    No I believe that Exiled was a bad attempt of changing perspectives of the viewers, because I felt as though the show relied more on the drama of the exposed “spoiled kids” than it was focused on the culture.

  3. smw8884 December 3, 2012 at 8:38 pm #

    I think that “Exiled” would be offensive to the people in the country they are visiting. The girl in the episode was incredibility rude in the beginning of her stay in Africa. The importance of going to these other countries is to gain more awareness of how privileged you are to live in a modern society and realize that there are people out there who have to work for everything they have. I think that by the end of the experience the girl really did understand that she had so much back home and she would appreciate what she had more.
    I think in order to prevent ethnocentrism you must try to really hold back judgement. Everyone will judge no matter where you are, what you are doing or who you are with. Judgement can be bad or good but I feel like you must hold back your judgement in order to fully experience another place and immerse in their culture. In “Exiled” Amanda finally stopped judging and realize there was common ground between her and the people she was staying with.

    • smw8884 December 3, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

      — Martha Willey

    • sap6100 December 3, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

      I agree with you on the idea that you have to hold back your judgement in order to prevent ethnocentrism because if you have assumptions on the community you are going to be staying with then you already have ideas in your head that can affect your stay in the community and how you react to the trip. If you hold all that judgement back and focus on having an open mind then the outcome of your stay will be altered.

      – Athena Partington

  4. madelinej8 December 3, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

    The show exiled may be offensive to the citizens of developing countries because the people who are in the show may do things that is considered rude for them. For example, acting disgusted when the villagers are doing a special ceremony. Also judging them is also considered rude. I think that the significance of visiting other countries in the world is to appreciate the things you have in your life, and to also realize that you don’t need EVERYTHING to have a happy life. The villagers in this episode seemed happy and okay with the way they lived.

    We can prevent ethnocentrism by not being afraid to try new things. Also to try and not judge every unique thing we see.

    I dont think that “Exiled” is a good attempt in changing the perspective of someone because, one week is not enough time to actually realize your mistake. Maybe some people will change their perspectives but I think that MTV just wanted another “dramatic show”.

  5. sap6100 December 3, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

    I think the show “exiled” might be offensive to the citizens that they are staying with because the people who are taken to those countries are “spoiled” so they are not used to having to do work for themselves like people in other countries are and some of the work they do might be considered “disgusting” and the people who are taken there are making these comments and are refusing to do what the people in that community are doing which could be considered rude and disrespectful to the people.

    I think we can counteract ethnocentrism by keeping our own culture at home and going to the new place with nothing that reminds you of your culture so you are forced to be completely involved with the new community. I think another thing that can counteract it is by keeping an open mind so not going there with any assumptions on how the community is going to be. I think that you just have to keep an open mind and try to put yourself in the place of the people who actually live in that place day to day and think about how you may find there way of life “weird” or “disgusting” but they could say the same thing about the way that we life.

    I think this show is a good way of starting to change a persons perspective because it does give them a little time to spend with a new culture and learn the way that they live but I think because they were able to bring stuff from home and that they were there for such a short amount of time that they could not be changed a great extent. I think MTV was trying to show different sides of the world and how “spoiled” people would react to those parts of the world and how those different people live.

    • sap6100 December 3, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

      – Athena Partington

  6. karenmejiaworldlit December 3, 2012 at 11:17 pm #

    How might the show “Exiled” be offensive to the citizens of the developing countries the participants visit? What is the significance of”Exiled” visiting these countries instead of staying in the US?

    The show “Exiled” is offensive to the citizens of the developing countries this participants visits because the first few days they are being rude to the culture because they are not accustomed to the way the live. They begin to criticize the culture that they are in and compare it to there own and describe how their culture is better and superior. The people in part of that culture see it in the sense that they are exposing these people to their unique culture most likely expecting them to enjoy and have fun. In return of their hospitality they get rude comments on how they do not like the way they live, offending their community because they cannot change their culture or tradition because one person does not like it.
    The significance of “Exiled” is to expose these former participants in the show “My Super Sweet 16” to the real world, and how the world does not revolve around them. The show expect to learn about different cultures, instead when they come back home they return grateful for what they have.

  7. Dylan Sweeney December 4, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    I think that Exiled is offensive because we as Americans don’t fully understand other cultures or know what might offend people in other places. I think it’s also offensive because they recorded a trashy TV show and portrayed the tribe as more of a joke then real living people. Amanda wasn’t cooperative at first which is disrespectful. Exile could also be offensive because when we see something that is rather unusual, our actions or facial expressions could be considered rude. I think we can prevent ethnocentrism by teaching younger generations about developing countries and equality among ALL people. I think we can also prevent it by studying or visiting places/cultures we aren’t familiar with.
    I think the message MTV was trying to prove was to not take anything in our civilization for granted, because many things are handed to us. I think MTV did a good job at proving that message, but i don’t think they succeeded when it comes to preventing ethnocentrism. They spent less time on the tribes culture, and more on comparing the tribes daily life to ours.

  8. nicksulis December 4, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    1) I think that the show can portray other cultures as being “weird” and that is extremely offensive. In the episode we watched, Amanda was telling one of the girls and told her that making a house out of cow dung was “gross” and that she didn’t want to participate. The people there would view the making of a house as a duty and an honor, and they were stricken by watching this girl, that they welcomed into their village, disrespecting their cultural norms.

    2) I think that experiencing other cultures, like they did in Exile, but without the cameras and the hype. Yes, Amanda did endure another cultures daily routines, but she was sent there to mature herself. To counteract ethnocentrism, i think that you would have to travel and experience another culture, for a long period of time. You would also have to do this alone and act as if you have lost your memory of anything outside of their culture. I believe that doing that would eliminate any preconceived notions and attitudes, and fully affect ones ethnocentrism.

    3) I think that Exile wants to show viewers how different “normal kids” are to other cultures. Exile itself is hugely ethnocentric because instead of documenting how the other culture is different, it shows you how the rich 18 year old girl doesn’t want to touch that or eat a special food. Also, it enforces the preconceived thought that other cultures are in “harsh” conditions and that they live terribly, when, although they don’t have the best conditions, still go about everyday doing their duties, without complaints. For example, the girls shown in the video are walking with Amanda to get water and when she is told she has to walk 4 hours to get water, it’s a huge surprise. The girls who lived there saw it as a normal, everyday thing, and something that they were depended on doing to contribute towards their community.

  9. fishsimmons December 4, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    The show “Exiled” is offensive to the citizens of the developing countries the participants visit because the girl Amanda was being rude and made their culture look bad. The significance of this show visiting these countries is that you can learn how it is in other countries in the world, and learn about their cultures. I think if we do not judge other cultures, then maybe that can help prevent ethnocentrism. I think that the meaning of this show is to open peoples eyes and realize that others have it worse.

  10. tenzin14 December 4, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    The show “Exiled” may be offensive to the citizens of the developing countries the participants visit because they are make comments on what they are not used to seeing and to the other person, they might see it as being rude and offending their community. But I don’t think that’s the point. The girl is not used to seeing Cow dungs and etc so obviously she would have judgments. The significance of “Exiled” visiting these countries instead of staying in the US to learn to appreciate what you have. Every country is unique and by traveling, you learn about the differences.

  11. tainas2 December 5, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

    “Exiled” might be offensive to the citizens of the developing countries that the participants visit because if they are like Amanda for example, they may make rude and disrespectful comments about their culture, like saying “that’s disgusting”, “that’s so weird”, or “i hate it here”. The point of these people visiting these countries is to get an understanding of the world and look at things differently rather than just being spoiled and selfish.

    Ethnocentrism can be prevented by exposing people to different cultures from a young age so that they don’t grow up thinking that their culture is “normal” and without judgement there cultures are weird. With exposure to other cultures people will see that not everyone is the same and will hopefully learn not to judge people who are different.

    I think “Exiled” is somewhat effective in changing the perspectives of the people who are introduced to other communities because they are only there for a short amount of time. I think if they stayed with that culture for at least a month they would have a different perspective. I think MTV is just showing that it’s okay to visit someone else’s culture and community and be rude towards them.

  12. adriannaj5 December 5, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

    i dont think it effective when it comes to changing the way someone thinks beacuse it makes it look like the culture being visited is just a bad way of life and the people are juss living that way because thay have to not because they enjoy it . i think mtv is trying to make these kids on the show appreciate things they have because there are people out there that dont have anything close to what they have.
    the way of life in the united states is basically the same for each state so staying in the us wouldnt change the mindset of the people visiting these places.Ethnocentrism can be prevented by making people experience different cultures and traditions that they are not use to .

  13. jasminehiraldo December 27, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    1. I think that the show might be offensive to other countries because the participants are rude to the cultures and traditions of the places they visit. I think that visiting other countries as opposed to staying in the US is to have the participant somewhere that hard work is inevitable in order to succeed and nonsense is not tolerated. It’s purpose is to make the participant live somewhere that gives them a reality check on life and being spoiled.
    2. I think we can prevent or counteract ecocentrism by not being afraid to try new things, even though it might be out of your comfort zone.
    3. I think “Exiled” is an effective way of changing the perspective of people, it makes people try new things. I feel like MTV was trying to communicate that some places require hard work and that working hard is important.

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