Cultural Identity Essay Examples

Essay samples on cultural identity

Scholars, writers and analysts have recently discussed a phenomenon known as globalization. This phenomenon has dominated literature for several years and is defined as the process of interaction and integration among people, companies, and governments worldwide. Most scholars however have focused on the economic and political dimensions of globalization and have neglected its most crucial dimension: culture. Culture can be defined as a social behaviour between different groups, reflecting the actions of their ancestors. Through globalization, world powers have utilized culture as a tool to project power and dominance.

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System of Belief

This has led to a deadly consequence which is the loss of cultural identity. Cultural identity is established upon core values that are shared and improved for a long time of development of a society. These values include language, system of belief, genetic traits, literature, customs and habits and many other values that make one community different from the others. 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. The process of globalization is portrayed in many ways starting from the use of everyday; language, to music, food, and even media. Losing cultural identity is a very dangerous phenomenon that can lead to many disasters. This essay is an attempt to analyse, explain, and dig deep into the causes and effects of the loss of cultural identity, and finally presenting solutions to this dilemma.

Globalization Affects

Globalization affects the concept of cultural identity in many ways, but the unification of one language contributes the most to the loss of cultural identity. The mere meaning of culture is diversity. This diversity is what defines and separates cultures from each other. Language is what differentiates and categorizes the different genres of people. language is extremely versatile and permeates all spheres of life, both private and public. As Lakota scholar Bunge (1992) notes, ‘language is not just another thing we do as humans – it is the thing we do. It is a total environment: we live in language as a fish lives in water’. This explains the importance in which languages should prosper. The concept of utilization of one dominant language around the world contradicts the simple meaning of diversity. Applied Linguistics professor, Claire Owen, stresses the danger of complying to a united language. “Findings illustrate that although there are other modes of identification, language remains a prominent manifestation of identity for most participants, and thus it is of importance that we as humanity stand against language dominance.” (Owen, 2011). The cause of this unification is due to the super powers who demand world power. “It’s is safe to say that the process of unifying language has succeeded over the years and has caused the loss of cultural identity by causing generation gaps, unfamiliarity, and foreignism.” (Owen, 2011).

Cultures need to be aware of the danger that has approached them and must understand the importance of maintaining their existence. An action that defends diversity must occur. This can be done by the preservation and constant remembrance of the specific languages by practicing their importance. Families of different cultures most prioritize there language first for the sake of there cultures prosperity.

Another crucial way that globalization effects cultural identity is through the media. This is because the act of domination in this stage of time is only attainable through mental manipulation. It is no longer attainable by nuclear wars, or strength in general. There’s no doubt that mass media, through its vast diversified audience, can unify and or erase different cultures through its content. For example, nowadays a new trend in an American movie is quickly adapted in other countries, which manipulates the root identity of their cultures. “The majority of social media users are teenagers or young adults (72 percent), and this could be dangerous because media in general can cause a generation gap, leading to process of losing culture” (Qualman, 2016).

The Idea of Connecting Everyone

By the passing of time, an average person will be more familiar and comfortable with the content presented to them, and it is by nature that humans are adaptable creatures. This process of adaptation will overlap and contradict the original culture that was presented to the person. “The idea of connecting everyone so simply, and having tremendous access, is a tactic to secretly separate and wash away rooted culture” explains Qualman. Mass media has tremendous influence due to its extreme access and reach. For these reasons, mass media is a crucial threat to the loss of cultural identity.

Controlling the entire media is absurd of course, but controlling our response to it can be done, and that is what matters. Like it was mentioned before, the media has great access and influence on people, and this can b beneficial. What is dangerous is its influence on unification and cultural identity. This can be controlled by strengthening the cultural roots of people. To understand and be aware of the danger of imitation and understand the importance of cultural identity. Awareness is the key that will lead to the continuing of cultures and their identity/.

There is no doubt that maintaining cultural identity is very important. As mentioned, this maintenance can only be attained by the concept of raising awareness. Realistically, cultural identity is being washed away by globalization. Whether its by language, media, religion, etc. the only realistic act that can be applied is awareness. Being aware of the importance of cultural existence will lead to many changes in society. We as people must be strong and stay in tune with the cultures we were born with, not for us, but for the prosperity of cultural identity.

FAQ about Cultural Identity

How Culture and Surroundings Influence Identity?
...Piri’s identity and culture are influenced by his surroundings, and as well as the people he’s around with. His childhood years were spent in the Spanish Harlem, that’s where his violent perception is garnered from. His constant shift in locati...
How America Hinders the Cultural Identity of Their Own Citizens?
...Cultural metacognition which is having awareness of distribution of cultural knowledge is a very vital tool to improve the intercultural competence. It has two parts cultural knowledge of the distribution of knowledge within and across cultures while...
Cultural Identity: What Is It
...In conclusion, there are many forms of cultural identity such as fluid and fixed. People may say having a fixed identity is better because you can stay true to yourself and be who you are no matter your surroundings. However a fluid identity is the b...
What Have I Learned and Imbibed from Dr. Jose P Rizal?
...In helping to study and know better, if you want more you will do more. Rizal rose from his weakness and became what we have known of him today; then we can likewise rise from our limitations and become the people we should be .Rizal can probably fin...
A Study Of The Theme Of Race, Culture, And Gender In Hames Baldwin’s Notes Of A Native Son, John Berger’s Ways Of Seeing Gloria Anzaldua’s How To Tame A Wild Tongue And Richard E. Miller’s The Dark Night Of The Soul
...Nobody can know for sure what drives racists, bigots, and people who commit atrocities. There are many things that drive them, some of them being shared with normal people as well. The thing that drives many people, which bothers is identity politics...

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