What shapes your identity essay
Now, we will help you construct your first cultural identity essay. Essentially, a cultural identity essay requires that you discuss how nationality, race, language, social class, ethnicity, religion, gender, heritage, tradition , and norms affect your life and viewpoint. A typical structure of a cultural identity essay follows the basic essay outline principles.
A typical five paragraph essay is a good model to follow. The major parts of your cultural identity essay are as follows:. Below is a cultural identity essay sample. Read, enjoy, and analyze. My name is Junichiro Claude Matsuoka, an only child. I am a multiracial American and native New Yorker.
My father is Japanese and my mother is French, and I speak both languages fluently. They were both born, raised, and educated in their home countries and were introduced to each other in graduate school in the United States. Their work involves a lot of traveling and they meet countless of people and experience even more cultures, religions, and belief systems.
Although my mother is Catholic and my father is Buddhist, they do not have a strong concept or belief in God and raised me in a household that practices nothing but kindness and compassion.
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As far back as I can remember, the only semblance of religion they taught me was to do goodwill to my fellow men, something that will never die. My parents instilled in me a strong sense of equanimity, morality, and work ethic. These beliefs do not only reflect my culture, they are also the core values of my family.
Due to my mixed heritage, my family possesses many Japanese and French cultural traditions, aside from traditions from where I was born and raised. For instance, my Japanese father taught me the practice of Kaizen. Kaizen is the drive and effort to improve in all aspects of life — in my case, I practice Kaizen in my behaviour, outlook in life, relationship with loved ones, and work. I do it every day and has made my life more worthwhile. My French mother, for her part, passed on to me the love for art and the importance of a relaxed body and mind. I also inherited from her the love for delicious desserts and wine, philosophy, and yes, sentimental movies.
Twice a year, my family takes a long vacation — one in Japan and one in France. When in France, I feel so French. When in Japan, I am one full-blooded Japanese. When at home, I am an interesting mixture of both, with a dash of that recognizable New York accent. Due to my being a mixture of cultures, It is pure joy and satisfaction seeing my extended family on both sides at least once a year.
I liken it to being around the world in a few weeks. However, there were a few years when we were not able to vacation in Japan and France. I used to consider those times as quite lonely. Now, looking back, they were really not sad at all because we had a chance to vacation with our friends from home.
Cultural Identity Essay: What is Cultural Identity? (Example)
And for the past three years, every summer, I have been going on short camping trips upstate with my friends. When we do not have those, we enjoy just walking and strolling with our dogs at Central Park. I cover the Japanese and French. We jokingly call our circle United Nations. I cannot think of any reason why I should not be content with my life. True, the differing backgrounds of my parents played a factor but it does not stop at that. I have developed and possess a distinct culture of my own and it is the combination of heritage and the influences that I prefer to identify with now.
My unique culture , values, desire to help my fellow men, and pursuit of happiness are reasons enough to celebrate life. Members of the group who act tough are then celebrated by other members of their group and held up as models to be emulated as exemplars to people in their camp. At the same time, members of the opposing side are likely to be seen as cruel and vicious and bearing hatred. Such views hamper transformation of an intractable conflict, since people in the other camp will tend to reciprocate the hostile behavior and ways of characterizing people.
Negative Characterizations: Such interactions are never wholly symmetrical. If a group is relatively powerful, it will try to impose its definitions on other groups. The Nazis' violent imposition of their characterization of who and what Jews were stands as a grotesque example of that tendency. In most instances, the imposition of a definition and characterization is less organized and violent; but some degree of imposition is discernable in many relationships.
Some people may be engaged in profitable economic transactions with the other side or they may collaborate in cultural or research activities. Having a large proportion of mutually gratifying interactions tends to mitigate and counter the destructive consequences of contentious interactions.
The social setting within which conflict groups contend with each other also greatly affects the adversaries' identities. Ways of thinking : The prevailing ways of thinking in every period of history profoundly influences how people characterize themselves and each other. Identifications in terms of religious beliefs, class relations, ethnicity, or lifestyles are more or less striking in different times and places. For example, racist ways of thinking have been more pervasive in some eras than in others and class-consciousness has been more prevalent in European societies than in the United States.
Self Determination : Thus too, in an age sympathetic to nationalism, ethnic group members tend to claim the right of collective self-determination , and they find support for such claims from nonmembers. The collapse of the Soviet Union undermined the appeal of the secular and universalistic communist ideology, while the rapid changes of the modern world created new sources of discontents. Fundamentalist interpretations of the world in Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Hinduism are in part responses to the resulting unsatisfied needs for meaning, community, and hope.
Modeling : The social context provides a repertoire of possible identities to assume. Identities that others have constructed and used to advance their interests serve as models, and similar identities then become attractive. Thus, in the United States, African Americans in the s' civil rights struggle stressed their identity as blacks and served as models for other disadvantaged peoples.
External Influences : Moreover, some external actors that is, people outside the identity group actively promote particular interpretations of history, economic relations, or God. They promulgate their views and transform social relations, as has happened with secular and religious revolutions and social movements. They also influence everyone's sense of identity, if only in opposition to the spreading of new world-views.
Although many aspects of identity contribute to a conflict's intractability, there are also ways to modify identities so as to reduce the intractability of a conflict. In parallel with the preceding section, policies in three settings are discussed: 1 within each group, 2 in the relations between the groups, and 3 in their social context. Policies vary in their appropriateness at different phases of conflict intractability. Six phases are particularly significant:. These six phases are only loosely sequential, since some occur simultaneously and conflicts often return to an earlier phase.
For each setting, one can identify policies that. Internal policies: Policies that may help modify identities so as to reduce conflict intractability may be conducted by a great variety of persons within each adversary camp, differing in rank and in arena of activity. Preventive Policies: All may be engaged in preventive policies , which help to prevent conflicts from becoming intractable.
Within all communities and countries, being peaceful and loving is part of people's identities. Parents, schoolteachers, religious leaders, artists, entertainers, and many others can foster those qualities in their children, students, congregants, and audiences.
Furthermore, school texts, films, and news reports can convey the humanity and perspectives of groups with whom conflicts have occurred. Interruptive Policies: The modified conceptions of themselves and of other groups and peoples can support additional actions that reduce the likelihood of destructive conflicts arising. These actions may be initiatives to reduce grievances felt by adversaries or reciprocations of peaceful gestures by the other side.
Should Globalization Shape Identity?
The growth of organized dissent from the uncompromising policies of the dominant leadership is also helpful in interrupting intractable conflicts. Rival leadership factions, middle-level leaders e. The dissenters may appeal to aspects of the prevailing identity that pertain to relations within the group rather than antagonisms with outsiders. Transformational Policies: Many other internal policies are relevant for the fundamental transformation of an intractable conflict. One approach is acting to change the ideologies and belief systems that sustain the conflict.
For example, in , the general synod of the Dutch Reformed Church, the major church of the Afrikaners of South Africa, resolved that the forced separation of peoples could not be considered a biblical imperative. The removal of religious support for apartheid contributed greatly to the negotiated end of the entire apartheid system in South Africa. Much public and scholarly attention is now given to revealing the truth about past injustices and human rights violations in order to build a secure peace.
Knowledge of past and ongoing oppression by people within the oppressor community or country can alter their self-identity.
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They may come to see themselves as being complicit in wrongly harming others. How adversaries interact with each other is particularly important in transforming collective identities and conceptions each adversary has about itself and about the other. Neither side in a conflict is hapless. Policies may be undertaken by either side to foster joint actions that prevent, interrupt, and transform intractable conflicts.
Preventive Policies: Many policies can help prevent intractable conflicts from emerging and becoming entrenched. For example, if one side is forthcoming about providing compensatory benefits for past injustices or providing assurances that past injustices will end, the other side tends to pursue limited and non-vindictive goals. There is a risk, however, that the compensations and assurances will be seen as signs of weakness, and the goals raised higher.
Attribution theory suggests another possibility. It follows that if those others have done some good deed, it is only because they were forced to do so and more coercion will yield even greater benefits. Negotiating shared understandings about conciliatory moves can help reduce such misunderstandings. The way each adversary resists oppression and injustice in turn affects that group's self-identity and conception of the other. For example, in the case of African-Americans and European-Americans in the s and early s, the nonviolent way the civil rights struggle was waged and the way the country as a whole responded affected both parties: it helped change the collective identities of both African and European Americans, increasing the civic character of American identity rather than its ethnic character.