Culture and Identity
Culture and identity are two much related terms and which are used to mean that it is a culture of a person that shapes their behaviors and therefore a person cannot live outside culture even if it means their own created culture of doing things every day. However, this does not merely mean that a person can do anything they want at any time and call it culture. Culture is broad and it is made of many parts which form one and therefore if a person can live all these parts then the person can be called cultural. For example, a certain culture may state that it is important and good for people to do what is good for their neighbors. However, another culture may state that it is okay to kill. Even though the second is termed as evil if the killing is under a certain situation like it is okay to kill a person who does what is wrong then this becomes the culture of those people (Boyd et al., 18). therefore this paper discusses culture and how it is used to give identification to people and describe them perfectly.
Identity is a complex situation whereby a person is realized and is understood from a certain perspective. This means that if I meet a person who is very sure about why it is important to kill people who do not obey their culture then I will have to understand that person as a murderer. However, it may not be the case from the perspective of the person who is just obeying culture. It turns out therefore that the issue of culture and identity is so much the same thing and culture is what forms the social part of any person. From these two terms, we get cultural identity which is the state of belonging to a certain group and therefore this means cultural identity is the combination of culture and identity (Lamont, 175).
Self-identity if part of a person’s life and is related to a variety of concepts like ethnicity religion, generation, locality, and social class. All of these concepts directed towards making sure that a person is formed culturally to be able to identify themselves are a very important part for any person to understand if they want to understand cultural identity and ultimately understand what it means to be culturally sound and emitting characteristics of a certain culture. There are therefore different ways of understanding cultural identity. Even though the different conditions to understanding culture and identity may defer to a certain extent it is also important to note that these cultural identity issues are a part of humanity that proves to be very unstable and sometimes it explodes. However, it is always a chance for humanity to learn since its explosion does not lead to death but to a more opportunity for learning new things and issues as not known before to a person.
The basic identifiers of culture include sex, locality nationality, sex, ethnicity, aesthetics, food, language, religious beliefs, and so many others. A locality is a place whereby certain people are located and where they live. This gives a person the ability to determine some characteristics of this kind of person since some features of human nature are similar across humanity. For example, if a group of people lives very close to the ice hills then it means that they have to learn a way to cope with the cold because universally all humans are the same when it comes to things like temperature and other naturally occurring phenomena. Therefore locality of a certain group of people makes them culturally identifiable and with more ease in determining their behaviors and activities as a people (Lindholm, 30).
History is one part of humanity that plays a very big role in the evaluation of what people have gone through, what they like, and what they hate. This means therefore for a person to understand the cultural dimension of a people there is nothing more valuable than going back to their history and learning how they have developed. For example, women in the United States have had a long history. Most of the olden society never considered women as part of the society and they considered them as outcasts. This, therefore, means that women were not treated as men and in some cases there was mistreatment. Even political representation and voting were not allowed. However in the current days with women having freedom and there being so many quests for equality helps us determine the culture of the women which in most times comes out as women empowerment more clearly. With the women liberated there is a very large and vast desire for them to liberate every woman on the earth and therefore this comes with cultural identification because they form a very important part of society.
Language is another part of cultural identification. This means that a person’s language tells about them and how they have been brought up. Education is a very core part of society as it helps a person understand what they say and be able to live with people around them. The learning of this language culture comes. therefore in as much as language is a personal issue it turns out that language is also a part of a person and therefore through the learning of a language to express oneself to another person the language learning comes with the culture of that group of people. it is the basics of the culture which the child learns and with times comes to perfect what they learned. For example, a child born on African soil in one of the countries may not be able to know English easily as their first language may be their mother tongue for example Kiswahili. This means that if a person speaks Kiswahili there is a very direct assumption that the person comes from the eastern part of Africa.
Acculturation is the process of adapting and balance between two cultures whereby the superior or the desired one takes over. Apart from the basic education about culture whereby a certain people have to learn how to behave according to a certain way it turns out that acculturation is a very important concept in the current world since people are traveling so much and their cultures have become volatile since they have to adapt to a new culture every once in a while trying to determine their life course. Therefore due to education and people traveling all over to find studies and other things pertinent to humanity in the current generation culture becomes a very thin part of humanity as most people develop an open mind. However, this does mean they still cannot be identified because there are other cultural markers like race which are not easy to do away with.
The cultural arena is a concept that where a person lives impacts the kind of life they have and therefore it is true that a person’s culture can be determined from the life they have and the kind of lifestyle they live in their daily lives. For example, in a person who is born in Georgia, there is a direct assumption that the person is American and has embraced the basic American traits like speaking in English. Therefore cultural arena plays an important role and it is closely related to geographical location. This is because where a person finds themselves they have to learn how to live within those areas even if they are harsh to them (Wilson, 674).
Language is one of the most important cultural identifiers since it is inevitable that language describes a very big percentage of who a person is. Language from the kind of language it is for example English to other parts of the language like the manner of production display a lot of cultural state and belonging of a person. This means therefore that if a person talks in a certain language it means they are conversant with that specific culture of a people. This is because language cannot be learned in a vacuum; it has to be learned within the culture of a particular people. Culture and language are co compact in that even when a person goes to school to learn about something they have to learn about a certain peoples word usage and this is a sign of the culture of that particular group of people (Wilson, 670).
In the current generation, there is also the issue of the internet and its role in making sure that education is passed on successfully to whom it belongs. Therefore a people need to understand that the internet has played a very big role in educating others about their culture be it from language to geographical locality and their imminent and basic behaviors. Other factors which are of great contribution towards cultural identity include; immigration, schools, etc (Kidd et al., 78).
In conclusion therefore identity and culture are very connected and a very big part of humanity. Identity cannot be possible without stating the above-discussed features of a person’s culture and their personality which directs talks about their culture. Therefore it is an important part of humanity and culture and identity have to be taken seriously and considered in any conversation to protect history, culture, and what people believe in.
Boyd, Rebecca. “Building Fences in Viking Dublin: Exploring Ireland’s First Urban Community.” Heritage, Diaspora and the Consumption of Culture: Movements in Irish Landscapes. Ashgate, Farnham (2014): 11-26.
Kidd, Warren, and Alison Teagle. Culture and identity. Macmillan International Higher Education, 2012.
Lamont, Michèle. “Culture and identity.” Handbook of sociological theory. Springer, Boston, MA, 2001. 171-185.
Lindholm, Charles. Culture and identity. McGraw Hill, 2007.
Wilson, August. Fences: a play. Vol. 6. Penguin, 2016.