I recently used the word 'nepotism' to describe an advantage attained due to sharing a common background. The person I said this to thought that that was too liberal an extension of the word. I agree, but I couldn't come up with anything better. What is the word that would describe this?

  • Racism might be applicable. Nov 16, 2014 at 6:42

6 Answers 6


Chauvinism is the best fit I can think of. It makes clear that the partisanship is based on shared culture and nationality.


This article compares different types of favoritism, including "Compatriotism," which sounds appropriate in your example:



As mentioned by Josh 61, nepotism wouldn't fit.

nepotism - the unfair practice by a powerful person of giving jobs and other favors to relatives

I would suggest "cultural discrimination" or "cultural bias"

A bias may be favorable or unfavorable."e.g. "He showed a bias toward a few workers in particular." "My boss seems to be biased against.../in favor of..."

bias - noun - "a tendency to believe that some people, ideas, etc., are better than others that usually results in treating some people unfairly"


I think partisanship may suggest the idea you are referring to: (from TFD)

  • an inclination to favor one group or view or opinion over alternatives.

also lobbyism is used to refer to :

  • A group of persons engaged in trying to influence legislators or other public officials in favor of a specific cause: the nationalistic lobby; the labor lobby etc.

Nepotism may work especially if the common background is family and relatives:

  • nepotism - favoritism shown to relatives or close friends by those in power (as by giving them jobs)

at the risk of being voted down i would say "homecourt advantage" is quite popular in the English-speaking world...

  • 1
    This really only works if the common background that provides the advantage is the same one in which the advantage is being offered in. A Brit living in Nashville, Tennessee giving a job to a another Brit based upon his origins isn't a situation in which anyone's really enjoying a "homecourt advantage".
    – 1252748
    Nov 16, 2014 at 19:44

how about "simpatico" - essentially being on the same wavelength as someone else or people (so to speak)...

  • You can be ¨simpatico¨ with somebody from an entirely different background, and not simpatico at all with somebody from your own home-town, nation etc. It refers to with compatible personality types, or highly empathic people. It isn´t really relevant and even if it were, you are not showing how it could be used to describe advantage gained through this empathic connection.
    – itsbruce
    Nov 17, 2014 at 13:56

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