Cultural Identity And Cultural Values

1614 WordsNov 30, 20147 Pages
Despite the centrality of culture in defining who we are, its definition continues to allude many. While some may see culture as the material relics of a certain group, such as food, dress art or language, others view it as the intangible beliefs and norms which govern our behaviour. Indeed, culture is a multifaceted and subjective construct that becomes internalized and therefore is a driving force in the formation of our unique identities. Cultural identity thus becomes an expression of our governing systems of kinship, ethnicity, race and religion, interacting with the social, economic and political world around us (Hall, 1995). In this way, cultural identity represents the extent we feel connected to and a part of a given cultural group. While identity formation is a fluid construct which is subject to evolution and influence, one could argue that people born to the dominant in-group experience a relatively smooth and unvaried transition into their sense of self. Conversely, first or second generation immigrants who have stake in two different worlds may find themselves hindered by conflicting values, practices and identities. Indeed, globalization has opened up the door for culture to flow between time and space and thus it becomes transferable (Hall, 1995). This transference has large implications for both racism and nationalism as overt differences between peoples can become a point of tension. As such, culture becomes a powerful concept with the ability to either

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