The Eastern world encompasses Asia and the Middle East, whereas the Western world encompasses North and South America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. East and West may have numerous cultural distinctions. These distinctions are most noticeable in people’s conduct and attitudes. However, because east and west relate to various countries and civilizations spread over the globe, comparisons between the two cultures can only be made on a broad scale. The primary distinction between eastern and western cultures is that easterners are more traditional and conservative than westerners (Barkawi, 2011). Essentially, to be a Western refers to an individual who lives in or comes from the west region, country of state. On the other hand, Eastern means in or from the eastern region, country, or state. It means coming from or related with countries or people of the East.
Since the West and East are rooted in different cultural backgrounds, the individuals growing and living in the two regions tend to have distinct identities. People are highly identified with their cultural background and practices; this results in different identities between individuals from the Western and Eastern regions. Indians, for example, show respect for their elders by stroking their feet; East Asians utilize bows to greet, apologize, and express gratitude (Gordon, 2014). The Eastern people are inflexible in their ideology and beliefs; they are frequently averse to challenging and questioning long-held traditions and customs (Norton, 2013). On the other hand, the West is more open-minded and forthright than the Eastern regions. Also, in the West, Individuals are given precedence over families, which means that they have more freedom and power to make their own choices, unlike those in the east. Essentially, people in the west are considered individualistic and independent, especially in America, while those from the East are considered collectivist.
The distinct identity between the West and the East has increasingly raised the issue of Eurocentrism in International relations. Eurocentrism as a system of knowledge is re-articulated through the Spatio-temporal binaries that distinguish ‘Europe’ from the ‘non-West’ and place it temporally ahead in the story of the progressive international narrative. The ‘non-West’ continues to be labeled as traditional, spiritual, and mystical (Hutchings, 2011). What permits Eurocentrism to be replicated as a system of knowledge is the rearticulation of the Spatio-temporal hierarchy that separates Europe spatially and temporally positions it ahead of everyone and everything else. These replicas are made possible by the way non-Western categories are re-articulated. Eurocentrism has fostered both sublimal and explicit racial self-hatred, in which non-Western practices, beliefs, and cultures are deemed insufficient or undesirable.
The distinct identifies between the West and East rooted in cultural differences and practices tend to have a wide range of consequences. For instance, it facilitates ethnocentrism and parochialism. Although it is different from racism, ethnocentrism could predispose and influence people to indulge in racism based on the ethnocentric emphasis on ethnic purity and superiority (Hutchings, 2011). Because attitudes frequently result in behaviors, ethnocentrism’s primary and most extensively researched behavioral effect is discrimination against members of various ethnic groups (Norton, 2013). Additionally, ethnocentric individuals are more inclined to vote for and support political candidates advocating for and favoring ethnocentric policies, and ethnocentric individuals wield significant influence over public opinion (Mikhail, 2020). Finally, the distinct classifications of the West and East tend to have a significant effect on real events and policies. Eurocentrism broadly impacts a successful implementation of the policies; it largely hinders the International Relations between the West and East. East countries are unwilling to follow the laid down policies since they feel they are largely leaned on Western culture.
In conclusion, the difference between the East and West is based on the cultural backgrounds between the two regions. Each region has its cultural practices that are distinct from each other. However, there are severe issues regarding International Relations between the East and West. The West considers their culture superior to the East, thus facilitating Eurocentrism. Eurocentrism has fostered both sublimal and explicit racial self-hatred, in which non-Western practices, beliefs, and cultures are deemed insufficient or undesirable. This largely hinders the successful implementation of policies to facilitate International Relations between the West and East.
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Gordon J (2014) Creolizing Political Theory Reading Rousseau Through Fanon. New York: Fordham University Press.
Hutchings K (2011) Dialogue between Whom? The Role of the West/Non-West Distinction in Promoting Global Dialogue in IR. Millennium: Journal of International Studies 39(3): 639-647. DOI: 10.1177/0305829811401941.
Mikhail A (2020) God′s Shadow: Sultan Selim, His Ottoman Empire, and the Making of the Modern World. New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation.
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