cultural identity

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  • cultural identity
    • identity is multiple
      • This multiplicity includes broad issues such as class, gender, ethnicity and sexuality and so on, but also more individual attitudes to oneself and the world
      • where nature ends and nurture begins is a problem that has yet to be resolved.
      • some individuals within the same cultural environment are pessimistic, others optimistic and so on. 
    • Identity is in motion like culture
      • much of it may appear to be fixed identity can be thought of as including not only those aspects that are ascribed from the outside but also those aspects of identity that are driven by personal self-shaping.
        • (the stereotypes that groups impose on individuals change relatively slowly, though there may be sudden shifts and leaps)
        • Hall refers to the latter as processes of “identification”, which describe those ways in which humans actively shape their identities.
    • Identity is seen as non-essential
      • this suggests that people can and do change
      • explains how people can begin to appropriate aspects of the culture of others and, in short, shift their identities in a number of ways
        • if we live abroad for a long time we may become more like the people amongst whom we live.
    • Problems
      • . It is a blanket term and it doesn´t do a very good job of distinguishing between different levels of identity
      • Identities are multiple but certain aspects of identity are more important than others at a given time
      • while some aspects of “identity” may be superficially obvious, we may not feel particularly attached to them
        • one might have a particular profession for a while, but not feel that it represents an important part of who we really are
    • Rogers Brubaker
      • critique of identity
      • US sociologist

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