Chronocentrism

francis fukuyama by david levine

Chronocentrism has been defined as ‘the egotism that one’s own generation is poised on the very cusp of history.’ The term had been used earlier in a study about attitudes to ageing in the workplace. Chronocentricity (‘only seeing the value of one’s own age cohort’) described the tendency for younger managers to hold negative perceptions of the abilities or other work-related competencies of older employees. This type of discrimination is a form of ageism.

Another usage is related to ethnocentrism (judging another culture solely by the values and standards of one’s own culture). By comparison, chronocentrism is perceiving and judging a culture’s historical values in terms of contemporary standards. An example of this usage is racism. In times prior to the advances of the civil rights movement, racist views and public expression were much more acceptable than they are today. This results in a tendency to judge those then making such statements in a harsher light.

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