Is there a word, similar to cronyism and nepotism, that means “favoring people of a particular culture, religion, or ethnicity, regardless of their expertise”.

I was thinking racism, but I’ve always understood that as the belief that one race is superior to another. But cronyism isn’t the belief that your friends are superior to others. They just get preferential treatment. So racism doesn’t seem right.

For example: a Russian person gets appointed as a hiring manager, and over the next year 60% of the staff have been replaced by Russians.

  • Racial/Ethnic partiality? Racial/Ethnic bias? – mikhailcazi Sep 18 '13 at 11:26
  • @mikhailcazi Those definitely work, but I was wondering about a single word (like nepotism is for familial bias) – Andrei Khramtsov Sep 18 '13 at 11:32
  • No single word is striking me yet :P – mikhailcazi Sep 18 '13 at 11:34
  • Although, I think ethnic nepotism, as @user49727 says, is perfect. It's the official term: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_nepotism – mikhailcazi Sep 18 '13 at 11:36
  • 1
    Why don't you just say 'ethnep' if it's too long? ;) – mikhailcazi Sep 18 '13 at 11:54

This type of ethnocentric prejudice is referred to as:

in-group favouritism

ethnic nepotism

or my personal favourite tribalism

Some informative links:

ingroup bias

ethnic nepotism


Edit: If you are looking for single words only ethnocentrism itself is an alternative.

  • 3
    I do like tribalism – Andrei Khramtsov Sep 18 '13 at 11:35
  • Another related term is 'collective (or group) narcissism' which I think is also quite apt. – user49727 Sep 18 '13 at 11:41

Besides previous suggestions, also consider chauvinism, “(pejorative) Unwarranted bias, favoritism, or devotion to one's own particular group, cause, or idea”; jingoism, “Excessive patriotism or aggressive nationalism especially with regards to foreign policy”; and nationalism “Patriotism; the idea of supporting one's country and culture”.


The word you're looking for is prejudiced. While a generic word, prejudice comprises favoritism, or its opposite, to any particular group of people who have something in common. To be prejudiced is simply to pre-judge some group of people as being either inherently unworthy of favor or worthy of favor.

A prejudiced person gives little or no consideration to a person's actual worthiness (e.g., objective criteria such as experience, brightness, motivation, integrity, character and the like), but to an assumed worthiness based on nationality, language, accent, family ties, friendship ties, skin color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, subculture, schools attended, socio-economic status, and how a person parts his or her hair! In other words, virtually any factor by which someone can be adjudged different and therefore better or worse than someone else.

Based on what I've said above, please do not infer that prejudice is always a bad thing; it is not. I'm prejudiced against prejudiced people for whom the basis of their prejudice is one or more of the above factors I've listed. Furthermore, I'm prejudiced against evil, wicked, violent, intolerant, greedy, selfish, lazy, hateful, bigoted, narrow-minded, overly irreverent, rude, crude, and lewd people. And the list goes on.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.