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I am writing a text about how the team "Leopard Trek" (Tour de France) is perceived by people in Luxembourg as a 'luxembourgish' team, even though it has an international roster of multiple countries. The only thing it has to do with Luxembourg is the few luxembourgish drivers it has and the fact that it is registered in Luxembourg.

The term I am trying to use is 'self-important', since I think it is kind of arrogant when people here speak of 'Team Luxembourg' or 'Team Schleck'. However, I think that the word would put the critic on the team (which is innocent) instead of the fans.

How would you describe a group of people (or a general situation), that only see their part of a common struggle/team/collaboration instead of thinking of themselves as a part of a whole.

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6 Answers 6

up vote 2 down vote accepted

One word which describes the attitude of the fans in your scenario is parochial when used in a negative sense. Similarly you have provincial

Note, this does not mean they consider themselves self-important but that they are narrow-minded in their outlook towards the whole team and see only their part in it

The definition in this respect

disapproving

showing interest only in a narrow range of matters, especially those which directly influence yourself, your town or your country

After your comment, I would also add "blinkered" as in having a blinkered view

adj. Subjective and limited, as in viewpoint or perception

"The characters have a blinkered view and, misinterpreting what they see, sometimes take totally inexpedient action" (Pauline Kael)

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Oh, this one is also good! I can use that to clarify what I mean. The trouble is, some people are not only interested in a narrow part of the team, but genuinely think that "Leopard Trek" is the national team of Luxembourg. Delusion would also describe it. –  Mike Sep 13 '11 at 8:58
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@Mike: see my update –  JoseK Sep 13 '11 at 9:12

The classic term (at least as it applies to people of the same "nationality") is chauvinistic.

It was named after an admirer of Napoleon, who basically thought (and preached) that the French were superior to others.

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Two words come to mind immediately. They are:

Conceited & Narcissistic

I think conceited would work best to represent a group of individuals who see only their own contributions as important.

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Are you looking for the word pompous? Or maybe, self-aggrandizing?

I also suggest you look up self-appointed and so-called to perhaps better express your point of view in the matter.

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Aggrandizing (without the self) seems to represent what I want to say. I can use that with a bit of rephrasing. I'll accept this one by tomorrow if no better word is found. –  Mike Sep 13 '11 at 8:57

Such people would be interested in themselves only, looking out for their own interests, etc. I would call such people "cynical":

  1. of or relating to the belief that human actions are motivated only or primarily by base desires or selfishness.
  2. skeptical of the integrity, sincerity, or motives of others.
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But I understand the OP is looking for the opposite of team-oriented as the people described do not see the team but only their part in it. –  JoseK Sep 13 '11 at 8:36

I, too, was thinking of ‘chauvinistic’. The OED’s second definition of ‘chauvinism’ is ‘Excessive loyalty to or belief in the superiority of one's own kind of cause, and prejudice against others’.

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