I’m not really sure how deeply I want to go into the “history” of my topic. I mean, propaganda through conditioning has been used for centuries and there are numerous examples of such now and throughout history. After all, it was at least partly through propaganda and conditioning that people in the home countries in Europe slowly became less interested in the “colonial issue” until the colonial relationship finally reached a breaking point during the colonial period. However, I will not get into that quite yet. In my previous blogs I have already gone over Orientalism. Now, I would like to add a bit of background about the second term I plan to discuss, Eurocentrism.
Long before American children were being taught incorrect ideas about Middle Eastern people through the media and forms of childhood entertainment, Europe was having problems with the way it viewed other parts of the world, too. This is why I think Eurocentrism fits well into my topic. False ideas that infiltrate an entire culture have to start somewhere, and I plan to start from Europeans creating a culture of Eurocentrist ideas. In that respect, Orientalism stems from Eurocentrist ideas. The concise definition we used for Eurocentrism in class was the following: “Eurocentrism is the practice of viewing the world from a European perspective and with an implied belief, either consciously or subconsciously, in the preeminence of European culture.” Orientalism by definition is a way of viewing the Orient, and Eurocentrism is a way that Europeans view other places; therefore; both are deeply related (if not the same thing) when one is discussing Europeans viewing the Middle East. Therefore, if I can get the topic of Eurocentrism to fit into my paper cohesively, I would like to also explore this topic as it relates to American children today.