A person abandoned into the world of mysterious things and phenomena is simply not able to independently realize the purpose and meaning of the surrounding being. He needs a system of reflective orientations that would enable him to identify himself with some kind of recognized pattern. That is why the problem of cultural identity plays a huge role.
Writing the Cultural Identity Essay: Defining the Notion
Widespread in interdisciplinary scientific circulation, the indicated term is obliged to the argumentative thesis of the American psychologist Eric Erikson. He argued that identity is the foundation of any personality and an indicator of psychosocial well-being, including the following moments:
Subject’s internal identity in the perception of time and space
Matching personal and socially accepted worldviews
Feeling of involvement in a community
The composition of cultural identity essay related to psychosocial crises in adolescence, in adulthood, profession, or family. Among them, the most painful is the youthful crisis when a young man really faces restrictive cultural mechanisms and begins to perceive his father as repressive one that infringes upon his freedom.
Nowadays, the mentioned category is associated with the person’s anxiety of his belonging to a socio-cultural group, which allows him to define own place in a community. Its necessity is due to the fact that each of us needs the orderliness of his life activity. To seek this aim, it is necessary to voluntarily accept some elements of consciousness dominating in a concrete crew, tastes, habits, norms, values and other means of interconnection.
The possible hook is hidden in a variety of formats, from ethnic to civic hypostasis. It can be said that an essence of the phenomenon lies in the conscious perception of those cultural patterns of behavior, language, music, which are accepted by members of a particular group.
My Cultural Identity Essay: The Key Moments
In a lot of papers, it is an axiom to claim that each person is the bearer of the culture where he grew up and was formed as a person. Although in a routine he usually does not notice this, however, when meeting with representatives of alien communities, these features become apparent. In this way, we learn about the existence of various forms of practice or thinking. A variety of impressions about the world are transformed into stereotypes, or expectations, which eventually become regulators of behavior and communication for any individual.
In other words, cultural identity is based on the separation of representatives into “own” and “alien”. In contacts, a person quickly becomes convinced that “strangers” react differently to certain phenomena of the surrounding world. With this approach, a stranger is understood as:
Foreigner outside of native culture
An object, contrasting with the familiar environment
It would not be superfluous to indicate in the cultural identity essay that person may feel his absolute isolation from the world around him. This is expressed in such painful sensations as depersonalization, marginalization, psychological pathology, antisocial behavior, etc. The loss is also possible due to the rapid changes in the socio-cultural milieu when an individual does not have time to perceive. In this case, it can be massive, giving rise to lost generations. However, similar crises may have positive consequences, facilitating the consolidation of scientific and technological progress, the integration of new cultural forms and values, thereby expanding personal adaptive capabilities.
Cultural Identity Essay: Historical Foundation
Identification serves as a person’s self-awareness within a particular civilizational break. Racial, ethnic, religious and other forms of discrimination are rooted in the evolutionary need of the individual in certain forms of cohesion. Groups that managed to achieve this effect were able to better adapt to changing situations.
Individual and group cultural identities responded to historical transformations. For example, over the course of ten thousand years of farming domination, individuals have extremely strongly associated with their clans or villages. A person was born as a part of his father and racial group. Ethnicity and religion were asked by his parents or local community. Thus, basic individual and group cultural attachments were determined at birth.
In the New Age, the need for cultural identification has survived, but its nature has evolved markedly. Music, national and class types appeared, for instance, care for the elderly was removed from kids to the state. In this era, the nature of cultural identity is also changing. The racial, ethnic, and religious subgroups in each society are segmented into smaller fragments.
It is not by chance that we are witnessing aggressive self-organization on the part of such groups as homosexuals, war veterans, who believe that the public treats them unfairly. Such a turbulent social process gets a decisive acceleration thanks to the media and specially addressed publications.
In addition, at present, the individual is less bound by the context of his birth and has a large choice in self-determination. Identification of the individual implies his connection with historical past and emphasizes an idea of “roots”. Ethnicity is produced using symbols like myths, legends, shrines, or emblems.
Frequently, there are persons with negative marginal ethnic identity, who balance between two cultures, not mastering the norms and values of any of them in due measure. They experience intrapersonal conflicts and are forced to overcome the next stages of adaptation:
Honeymoo—ninterest in the country when everything new surprises and pleases;
Cultural shock—lack of comprehending the customs of local people, difficulties in communication with “brothers”, confusion;
Culmination—hostility, insomnia, depression, alcohol abuse, the strive to return to the homeland;
Awareness of the need to learn a foreign language and prompts
Full and long-term habituation, stable changes of a person and his patterns in accordance with the requirements of the environment. Adaptation is accelerated in young persons, single, with higher education and flexible logic, prone to analysis. Low-educated, family, authoritarian, and rigid people adapt slowly, leaving or becoming isolated in their own world.
National identity, based on historical memory, is also the driving force of the nation in their advancement to the heights of civilization. However, it can be perverted and claim absolute value. In this case, egocentric nationalism seeks to subjugate all principles.
Modern democracy focuses on the dissolution of socio-cultural groups in an impersonal herd, preaching the idea of multi-unity. The indicated concept is grounded in the unity of human nature in the living diversity of its concrete manifestations. The motive of respecting various cultural orientations and beliefs serves a cornerstone of the modern democratic, pluralistic and legal community.
Thus, one of the basic human needs is a variety of ties with the outside world, which is realized through the cultural identity with ideas, values and social groups. Through close bonds, we can talk about the love of parents or brothers, who have made every effort to strengthen the roots.