Cultural identity | Wikipedia audio article

Cultural identity | Wikipedia audio article


Cultural identity is the identity or feeling
of belonging to a group. It is part of a person’s self-conception and self-perception and is
related to nationality, ethnicity, religion, social class, generation, locality or any
kind of social group that has its own distinct culture. In this way, cultural identity is
both characteristic of the individual but also of the culturally identical group of
members sharing the same cultural identity or upbringing.==Description==Various modern cultural studies and social
theories have investigated cultural identity and understanding . In recent decades, a new
form of identification has emerged which breaks down the understanding of the individual as
a coherent whole subject into a collection of various cultural identifiers. These cultural
identifiers may be the result of various conditions including: location, gender, race, history,
nationality, language, sexuality, religious beliefs, ethnicity, aesthetics, and even food.
As one author writes, recognizing both coherence and fragmentation: The divisions between cultures can be very
fine in some parts of the world, especially in rapidly changing cities where the population
is ethnically diverse and social unity is based primarily on locational contiguity.
As a “historical reservoir,” culture is an important factor in shaping identity. Since
one of the main characteristics of a culture is its “historical reservoir,” many if not
all groups entertain revisions, either consciously or unconsciously, in their historical record
in order to either bolster the strength of their cultural identity or to forge one which
gives them precedent for actual reform or change.
Some critics of cultural identity argue that the preservation of cultural identity, being
based upon difference, is a divisive force in society, and that cosmopolitanism gives
individuals a greater sense of shared citizenship. When considering practical association in
international society, states may share an inherent part of their ‘make up’ that gives
common ground and an alternative means of identifying with each other. Nations provide
the framework for culture identities called external cultural reality, which influences
the unique internal cultural realities of the individuals within the nation.Also of
interest is the interplay between cultural identity and new media.Rather than necessarily
representing an individual’s interaction within a certain group, cultural identity may be
defined by the social network of people imitating and following the social norms as presented
by the media. Accordingly, instead of learning behaviour and knowledge from cultural/religious
groups, individuals may be learning these social norms from the media to build on their
cultural identity.A range of cultural complexities structure the way individuals operate with
the cultural realities in their lives. Nation is a large factor of the cultural complexity,
as it constructs the foundation for individual’s identity but it may contrast with ones cultural
reality. Cultural identities are influenced by several different factors such as ones
religion, ancestry, skin colour, language, class, education, profession, skill, family
and political attitudes. These factors contribute to the development of one’s identity.Cultural
identity is essentially how we as individuals cater to all positions of our lives. We may
be teachers, students, friends, bosses, employees, etc. How we act and how our schemas contribute
to our positions are the building blocks of your overall cultural identity.==Cultural arena==
It is also noted that an individual’s “cultural arena”, or place where one lives, impacts
the culture that that person chooses to abide by. The surroundings, the environment, the
people in these places play a factor in how one feels about the culture they wish to adopt.
Many immigrants find the need to change their culture in order to fit into the culture of
most citizens in the country. This can conflict with an immigrant’s current belief in their
culture and might pose a problem, as the immigrant feels compelled to choose between the two
presenting cultures. Some might be able to adjust to the various
cultures in the world by committing to two or more cultures. It is not required to stick
to one culture. Many people socialize and interact with people in one culture in addition
to another group of people in another culture. Thus cultural identity is able to take many
forms and can change depending on the cultural area. The nature of the impact of cultural
arena has changed with the advent of the Internet, bringing together groups of people with shared
cultural interests who before would have been more likely to integrate into their real world
cultural arena. This plasticity is what allows people to feel like part of society wherever
they go.==Language==
Language develops from the wants of the people who tend to disperse themselves in a common
given location over a particular period of time. This tends to allow people to share
a way of life that generally links individuals in a certain culture that is identified by
the people of that group. The affluence of communication that comes along with sharing
a language promotes connections and roots to ancestors and cultural histories. Language
can function as a fluid and ever changing identifier, and can be developed in response
or rebellion of another cultural code, such as creole languages in the US .
Language also includes the way people speak with peers, family members, authority figures,
and strangers, including the tone and familiarity that is included in the language.
Language learning process can also be affected by cultural identity via the understanding
of specific words, and the preference for specific words when learning and using a second
language.Since many aspects of a person’s cultural identity can be changed, such as
citizenship or influence from outside cultures can change cultural traditions, language is
a main component of cultural identity.==Education==
Kevin McDonough pointed out, in his article, several factors concerning support or rejection
of the government for different cultural identity education systems. Other authors have also
shown concern for the state support regarding equity for children, school transitions and
multicultural education. During March 1998, the two authors, Linda D. Labbo and Sherry
L. Field collected several useful books and resources to promote multicultural education
in South Africa.==Immigrant identity development==
Identity development among immigrant groups has been studied across a multi-dimensional
view of acculturation. Dina Birman and Edison Trickett (2001) conducted a qualitative study
through informal interviews with first-generation Soviet Jewish Refugee adolescents looking
at the process of acculturation through three different dimensions: language competence,
behavioral acculturation, and cultural identity. The results indicated that, “…acculturation
appears to occur in a linear pattern over time for most dimensions of acculturation,
with acculturation to the American culture increasing and acculturation to the Russian
culture decreasing. However, Russian language competence for the parents did not diminish
with length of residence in the country” (Birman & Trickett, 2001).
In a similar study, Phinney, Horencyzk, Liebkind, and Vedder (2001) focused on a model, which
concentrates on the interaction between immigrant characteristics and the responses of the majority
society in order to understand the psychological effects of immigration. The researchers concluded
that most studies find that being bicultural, having a combination of having a strong ethnic
and national identity, yields the best adaptation in the new country of residence. An article
by LaFromboise, L. K. Colemna, and Gerton, reviews the literature on the impact of being
bicultural. It is shown that it is possible to have the ability to obtain competence within
two cultures without losing one’s sense of identity or having to identity with one
culture over the other. (LaFromboise Et Al. 1993) The importance of ethnic and national
identity in the educational adaptation of immigrants indicates that a bicultural orientation
is advantageous for school performance (Portes & Rumbaut, 1990). Educators can assume their
positions of power in beneficially impactful ways for immigrant students, by providing
them with access to their native cultural support groups, classes, after–school activities,
and clubs in order to help them feel more connected to both native and national cultures.
It is clear that the new country of residence can impact immigrants’ identity development
across multiple dimensions. Biculturalism can allow for a healthy adaptation to life
and school. With many new immigrant youth, a school district in Alberta, Canada has gone
as far as to partner with various agencies and professionals in an effort to aid the
cultural adjustment of new Filipino immigrant youths . In the study cited, a combination
of family workshops and teacher professional development aimed to improve the language
learning and emotional development of these youths and families .==School transitions==
How great is “Achievement Loss Associated with the Transition to Middle School and High
School”? John W. Alspaugh’s research is in the September/October 1998 Journal of Educational
Research (vol. 92, no. 1), 2026. Comparing three groups of 16 school districts, the loss
was greater where the transition was from sixth grade than from a K-8 system. It was
also greater when students from multiple elementary schools merged into a single middle school.
Students from both K-8 and middle schools lost achievement in transition to high school,
though this was greater for middle school students, and high school dropout rates were
higher for districts with grades 6-8 middle schools than for those with K-8 elementary
schools.The Jean S. Phinney Three-Stage Model of Ethnic Identity Development is a widely
accepted view of the formation of cultural identity. In this model cultural Identity
is often developed through a three-stage process: unexamined cultural identity, cultural identity
search, and cultural identity achievement. Unexamined cultural identity: “a stage where
one’s cultural characteristics are taken for granted, and consequently there is little
interest in exploring cultural issues.” This for example is the stage one is in throughout
their childhood when one doesn’t distinguish between cultural characteristics of their
household and others. Usually a person in this stage accepts the ideas they find on
culture from their parents, the media, community, and others.
An example of thought in this stage: “I don’t have a culture I’m just an American.” “My
parents tell me about where they lived, but what do I care? I’ve never lived there.”
Cultural identity search: “is the process of exploration and questioning about one’s
culture in order to learn more about it and to understand the implications of membership
in that culture.” During this stage a person will begin to question why they hold their
beliefs and compare it to the beliefs of other cultures. For some this stage may arise from
a turning point in their life or from a growing awareness of other cultures. This stage is
characterized by growing awareness in social and political forums and a desire to learn
more about culture. This can be expressed by asking family members questions about heritage,
visiting museums, reading of relevant cultural sources, enrolling in school courses, or attendance
at cultural events. This stage might have an emotional component as well.
An example of thought in this stage: “I want to know what we do and how our culture is
different from others.” “There are a lot of non-Japanese people around me, and it gets
pretty confusing to try and decide who I am.” Cultural identity achievement: “is characterized
by a clear, confident acceptance of oneself and an internalization of one’s cultural identity.”
In this stage people often allow the acceptance of their cultural identity play a role in
their future choices such as how to raise children, how to deal with stereotypes and
any discrimination, and approach negative perceptions. This usually leads to an increase
in self-confidence and positive psychological adjustment==The role of the internet==
There is a set of phenomena that occur in conjunction between virtual culture – understood
as the modes and norms of behaviour associated with the internet and the online world – and
youth culture. While we can speak of a duality between the virtual (online) and real sphere
(face-to-face relations), for youth, this frontier is implicit and permeable. On occasions
– to the annoyance of parents and teachers – these spheres are even superposed, meaning
that young people may be in the real world without ceasing to be connected.In the present
techno-cultural context, the relationship between the real world and the virtual world
cannot be understood as a link between two independent and separate worlds, possibly
coinciding at a point, but as a Moebius strip where there exists no inside and outside and
where it is impossible to identify limits between both. For new generations, to an ever-greater
extent, digital life merges with their home life as yet another element of nature. In
this naturalizing of digital life, the learning processes from that environment are frequently
mentioned not just since they are explicitly asked but because the subject of the internet
comes up spontaneously among those polled. The ideas of active learning, of googling
‘when you don’t know’, of recourse to tutorials for ‘learning’ a programme or a game, or the
expression ‘I learnt English better and in a more entertaining way by playing’ are examples
often cited as to why the internet is the place most frequented by the young people
polled.The internet is becoming an extension of the expressive dimension of the youth condition.
There, youth talk about their lives and concerns, design the content that they make available
to others and assess others reactions to it in the form of optimized and electronically
mediated social approval. Many of today’s youth go through processes of affirmation
procedures and is often the case for how youth today grow dependency for peer approval. When
connected, youth speak of their daily routines and lives. With each post, image or video
they upload, they have the possibility of asking themselves who they are and to try
out profiles differing from those they assume in the ‘real’ world. The connections they
feel in more recent times have become much less interactive through personal means compared
to past generations. The influx of new technology and access has created new fields of research
on effects on teens and young adults. They thus negotiate their identity and create senses
of belonging, putting the acceptance and censure of others to the test, an essential mark of
the process of identity construction.Youth ask themselves about what they think of themselves,
how they see themselves personally and, especially, how others see them. On the basis of these
questions, youth make decisions which, through a long process of trial and error, shape their
identity. This experimentation is also a form through which they can think about their insertion,
membership and sociability in the ‘real’ world.From other perspectives, the question
arises on what impact the internet has had on youth through accessing this sort of ‘identity
laboratory’ and what role it plays in the shaping of youth identity. On the one hand,
the internet enables young people to explore and perform various roles and personifications
while on the other, the virtual forums – some of them highly attractive, vivid and absorbing
(e.g. video games or virtual games of personification) – could present a risk to the construction
of a stable and viable personal identity.==See also====Sources==
This article incorporates text from a free content work. Licensed under CC-BY-SA IGO
3.0 License statement: Youth and changing realities: rethinking secondary education
in Latin America, 44-45, López, Néstor; Opertti, Renato; Vargas Tamez, Carlos, UNESCO.
UNESCO. To learn how to add open license text to Wikipedia articles, please see Wikipedia:Adding
open license text to Wikipedia. For information on reusing text from Wikipedia, please see
the terms of use.==Footnotes====References====Further reading==
Anderson, Benedict (1983). Imagined Communities. London: Verso.
Balibar, Renée & Laporte, Dominique (1974). Le français national: Politique et pratique
de la langue nationale sous la Révolution. Paris: Hachette.
Bourdieu, Pierre (1980). “L’identité et la représentation” (Submitted manuscript). Actes
de la recherche en sciences sociales. 35: 63–70. doi:10.3406/arss.1980.2100.
(full-text IDENTITIES: how Governed, Who Pays?) de Certeau, Michel; Julia, Dominique; & Revel,
Jacques (1975). Une politique de la langue: La Révolution française et les patois. Paris:
Gallimard. Evangelista, M. (2003). “Culture, Identity,
and Conflict: The Influence of Gender,” in Conflict and Reconstruction in Multiethnic
Societies, Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press [2]
Fishman, Joshua A. (1973). Language and Nationalism: Two Integrative Essays. Rowley, MA: Newbury
House.*Güney, Ü. (2010). “We see our people suffering: the war, the mass media and the
reproduction of Muslim identity among youth”. Media, War & Conflict. 3 (2): 1–14. doi:10.1177/1750635210360081.
Gellner, Ernest (1983). Nations and Nationalism. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Gordon, David C. (1978). The French Language and National Identity (1930–1975). The Hague:
Mouton. James, Paul (2015). “Despite the Terrors of
Typologies: The Importance of Understanding Categories of Difference and Identity”. Interventions:
International Journal of Postcolonial Studies. 17 (2): 174–195. doi:10.1080/1369801x.2014.993332.
Robyns, Clem (1995). “Defending the national identity”. In Andreas Poltermann (Ed.), Literaturkanon,
Medienereignis, Kultureller Text. Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag ISBN 3-503-03727-6.
Robyns, Clem (1994). “Translation and discursive identity”. Poetics Today. 15 (3): 405–428.
doi:10.2307/1773316. JSTOR 1773316. Shindler, Michel (2014). “A Discussion On
The Purpose of Cultural Identity”. The Apollonian Revolt. Archived from the original on 2015-04-19.
Retrieved 9 April 2015. Sparrow, Lise M. (2014). Beyond multicultural
man: Complexities of identity. In Molefi Kete Asante, Yoshitaka Miike, & Jing Yin (Eds.),
The global intercultural communication reader (2nd ed., pp. 393–414). New York, NY: Routledge.
Stewart, Edward C., & Bennet, Milton J. (1991). American cultural patterns: A cross-cultural
perspective (Rev. ed.). Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press.
Woolf, Stuart. “Europe and the Nation-State”. EUI Working Papers in History 91/11. Florence:
European University Institute.

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