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A 1912 newspaper cartoon highlighting the United States' influence in Latin America following the Monroe Doctrine

Americentrism, also known as American-centrism[1] or US-centrism, is a tendency to assume the culture of the United States is more important than those of other countries or to judge foreign cultures based on American cultural standards. It refers to the practice of viewing the world from an overly US-focused perspective, with an implied belief, either consciously or subconsciously, in the preeminence of American culture.[2]

The term is not to be confused with American exceptionalism, which is the assertion that the United States is qualitatively different from other nations and is often accompanied by the notion that the United States has superiority over every other nation.[3]


Scholarship of Americentrism traces the ideological system's origins, historically, to the late 1700s following the established independence of the United States. Americentrism is presented as a shift from Eurocentrism that idolizes the newly founded United States' ideals of freedom and democracy.[4]

Such scholarship itself was initially built off of Jim Blaut's 1980s scholarship of Eurocentrism by Geographer Richard Peet whom coined the term in his 2005 journal, From Eurocentrism to Americanism. [4]

In the media[edit]

American television networks have been perceived to contain an Americentric bias in the selection of their material.[5]

Another instance of Americentrism is in the high focus companies have on US markets in relation to others. Often, products produced and developed outside the US are still marketed as typically American.[6]

According to the European Commission, internet governance (in particular that related to the NSA[definition needed]) is too Americentric. It criticized the major role of American company ICANN[definition needed] in its administration.[7]

The English Wikipedia has been criticized for having an Americentric systemic bias with regards to its occasional preference towards US English sources, language, and spelling.[8]


Social justice[edit]

Critics of Americentrism denote the ideology in fear of misunderstandings between peoples or nations, and in some cases, escalating into severe racial conflicts or even wars. They claim that distorted Americentrism has the potential to foster racism, create chaos, or ignite armed conflicts.[9]

Critics of American policies utilise the term in a negative context to highlight a deliberate, nationalistic ignorance displayed by the American government towards its own faults, warning of the possible distortion of international relations possible by followers of the ideology.[9]


Educators have brought attention to the usage of Americentric views in American educational policy and scholarship. Critics have noted the usage of Americentric views specifically in the United States' public school systems' educational policy in world history. Sources claim that schools in the United States often tend to prioritise the detailed teaching of the history of Europe and the United States in their World History curriculum, while providing only brief coverage of events in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.[9]

In terms of scholarship, it has been noted by various observers that the field of psychological research is predominantly influenced by Americans. It has been asserted that Americans hold the highest share as producers of psychological research, with a significant focus on studying Americans themselves. Therefore there have been criticisms of theories and principles derived from such research in if it is universally applicable to all human beings. Jeffrey Arnett, a professor of psychology at Clark University supports the idea, writing of scholarship, to his critique, disregarding the diversity of human experiences and contexts.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ William R. Thompson, "Global War and the Foundations of US Systemic Leadership", chap. 7 in America, War and Power: Defining the State, 1775–2005, eds. Lawrence Sondhaus and A. James Fuller (Abingdon, Oxon, UK: 2007), 146 ("The customary approach to accounting for the rise of the United States to global primacy is descriptive, American-centric, and heavily reliant on the distinctiveness of the ascent.").
  2. ^ NI, Chun-yan (2008). "Analysis of ethnocentrism" (PDF). US-China Foreign Language. p. 78. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 3, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2009.
  3. ^ American Exceptionalism: A Double-Edged Sword. Seymour Martin Lipset. New York, N.Y.: W.W. Norton & Co., Inc. 1996. p. 18.
  4. ^ a b Peet, Richard (2005-11-05). "From Eurocentrism to Americentrism". Antipode. 37 (5): 936–943. doi:10.1111/j.0066-4812.2005.00542.x. ISSN 0066-4812 – via DOI Foundation.
  5. ^ Kaufman, King (August 20, 2004). "King Kaufman's Sports Daily". Salon. Salon Media Group. Archived from the original on February 9, 2011.
  6. ^ Maden, Sead (12 December 2012). "American-Centric UI Is Leveling Tech Culture – and Design Diversity". Wired.
  7. ^ Traynor, Ian (12 February 2014). "Internet governance too US-centric, says European commission". The Guardian. Brussels.
  8. ^ Browne, Marcus (12 February 2008). "Wikipedia accused of 'US-centric bias'". ZDnet.
  9. ^ a b c Yongkun, Wan (2018). "Ethnocentrism: A Common Human Failing" (PDF). Francis Academic Press, UK: 36–41.
  10. ^ Arnett, Jeffrey (October 2008). "The Neglected 95%: Why American Psychology Needs to Become Less American" (PDF). American Psychological Association. 63 (7): 602–614. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.63.7.602. PMID 18855491. S2CID 21072349.