Cultural Identity . Who am I? What factors make identity more complex today? Globalization Intercultural marriage (& resulting offspring) Immigration Culture influences every facet of all our identities.
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Cultural Identity Who am I? What factors make identity more complex today? Globalization Intercultural marriage (& resulting offspring) Immigration Culture influences every facet of all our identities.
The 2000 U.S. census was the first time Americans were allowed to select more than one category to report their racial identity. • The question “ancestry or ethnic origin” brought about 500 different categories. For the first time, the government realized the need to: • “tailor services to accommodate cultural differences” • Address the language and cultural diversity of various groups.
What do we mean by “Identity”? Identity is an abstract, complex, dynamic concept. (keeps changing over the years) “A person’s conception of self within a particular social, geographical, cultural, and political context…. Identity gives the individual a sense of self and personhood.”—Yep, p 111 “reflective self-conception or self-image that we each derive from our family, gender, cultural, ethnic, and individual socialization process.”—Ting and Toomey “one’s sense of belonging to a particular cultural or ethnic group.”—Listig & Koester
How do we acquire and develop our Identity? P 122 • Ascribed at birth (racial, ethnic, and sexual identities) • Family • Culture (interaction with others in your cultural group) • Japanese vs USA student/teacher behavior • “A tall tree catches much wind” • Rites of Passage • Involvement in Commemorative events
We have more than one identity. • … how you identified yourself in grade school, in high school, and after you entered college. • Our identity is a composite of multiple identities which are integrated…depends on the situation.
Identities Keep Changing • We are constantly moving in and out of different identities as we grow up and as we interact with other people, and with each identity, we employ a set of communicative behaviors appropriate for that identity and setting.
Categorizations of Identity: (Combination of Hall and Turner’s ideas) • Personal—what sets you apart from other in-group members; makes you special or unique (innate talent/special achievement/or just your personality) • Relational—relationships with other people such as husband/wife, teacher/student, and executive/manager. • Communal/Social—race, ethnicity, gender, age, occupation, hometown, or religious or political affiliation.
Personal Identity Biker, Dancer, Gardener, Soccer Player, Stock Car Racer, Drummer, Photographer, Author, etc.
Relational Identity • Teacher/Student
Communal/Social……Racial… Tied to biological heritage that produces similar, identifiable physical characteristics. Anthropologists originally designated 3 separate races: Mongoloid, Caucasoid, and Negroid • Based on physical appearance • Skin color, hair texture, facial appearance, eye shape In spite of these outward differences, modern science finds “very little genetic variation among human beings.” Still the concept of racial identity persists in the U.S. and many other countries as a socially constructed idea.
Communal/Social cont.Ethnic… • Transcends national borders; is derived from a sense of shared heritage, history, traditions, values, similar behaviors. --African American, Native American, Swedish, etc. Some derive their ethnic identity from a regional grouping: The Bedouin (nomadic Arab groups from the eastern Sahara across North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula to the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia) • The Kurds (a large ethnic group in northeast Iraq, with communities in Turkey, Iran, and Syria) • The Roma (Gypsies) scattered mainly across Eastern and Western Europe. Also live in India & elsewhere.
Gender Identity p115 Not referring to biological or sexual identity, but to the masculine and feminine social roles as defined by each culture.. “femaleness” and “maleness” Culture influences what we consider “gender beauty,” but how it is displayed varies between cultures.
Skin color (to tan or not to tan….) • Words (Japanese words used by only men or women) • Fashion (In Denmark, men are more concerned about their weight than women. Being sexy isn’t how their women advance themselves.)
National Identity/Nationality Members of a nation, despite all their differences, resemble one another in certain fundamental matters of belief and conduct, more than they resemble members of other nations. I am an American! (Canadian, Chinese, Mexican…) National identity usually becomes more pronounced when a person is away from their home country. This identity can change through immigration and naturalization. Transnational Identity: i.e. youth in Europe are saying “I’m from Europe” rather than “I’m from Germany.”
Local affiliation sometimes outweighs national affiliation. Proud Texans may say “I’m a Texan” rather than “I’m an American.”
Regional Identity • Most people are proud of their home state. • New England, the South, “back East,” Midwest, the Bronx, the Florida Keys, The Big Apple, Sunny California…..
Organizational IdentityMore important in collectivist cultures—GM, Toyota, SFCC, Microsoft, etc. Japan U.S.A. • Businessmen employed by large corporations wear small lapel pin to signal their company affiliation • During introductions—businessmen give their company’s name before their own. • Business card—Company & position placed above his or her name. http://www.linguist.com/services-japanese-card.htm • Again, this shows how collective cultures stress group membership and individualistic emphasize the individual. • Not common (occasionally a Polo shirt or tie with a company logo) • Individual is introduced by their name first and then the organization • Business card—Business name at the top, followed by individual name in large, bold letters with position under that in smaller type.
Cyber or Fantasy IdentityMaiden, Warrior, Wizard, etc. • The Internet allows you to develop a new identity, or to just emphasize the positives about yourself. • Fantasy ID—characters from science fiction movies, comic books, etc. International conventions draw many thousands. • Other identities—age, religion, socio-economic class, physical ability, minority status, all of which are part of an individuals’ identity and are influenced by culture.
Negative Sides to Identity Stereotyping Racism Ethnocentrism