"Cultural Identity Essays"

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Identity Development Is a Topic That Has Essay

Words: 2568 Length: 7 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 75817954

Identity development is a topic that has been studied for some time. There are two main ways to address it: as young children who are just developing an identity and as adults who are changing or developing an identity they never created or did not like as a child. Each person, as he or she grows, develops a distinct and separate identity from other people (Willemsen & Waterman, 1991). While an individual may change over time, there is a part of that person's identity that generally remains the same as it was when it was first developed. The creation of an identity helps to define a person to others, but it also works to define an individual to himself or herself. Everyone has likely heard people say that they need to "find themselves," and that is part of the development and exploration of identity. The identity of a person can be something very personal and "human," or it can also refer to how a person is seen by others - such as with a professional reputation or notoriety. Both areas are part of a person's identity.

There are several parts to a person's identity. One is the sense of uniqueness he or she feels when compared to others (Steinberg, 2008). That uniqueness is very important to many people, because it is what sets them apart from everyone else and gives them a sense of self. Additionally, though, there are other parts to the identity of a person. These include the sense of continuity and the sense of affiliation (Willemsen & Waterman, 1991). In short, people want to belong to a group and also want to be different and separate from that group. These same people also want to see and feel a continuation of their identity as they move through life. They need to know "who they are," and they will not know that if their identity continues to change. Developmental psychology is a large part of the development of a personal identity. In fact, a large number of theories in the psychological realm focus on the sense of self and how it can be better developed in order for the…… [Read More]

Grotevant, H.D. (1997). Family processes, identity development, and behavioral outcomes for adopted adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Research, 12(1), 139.

Goossens, L. (2008). Dynamics of perceived parenting and identity formation in late adolescence. Journal of Adolescence, 31(2), 165-184.
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Identity Losing and Finding a Essay

Words: 2337 Length: 8 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 6207478

The book is not attempting to explain the details of a biographical life in the way it is traditionally perceived in either the East or the West, but rather is an emotive rather than an intellectual rendering of identity fragmented by a meeting of multiple cultures. This paces it firmly in the postcolonial tradition, where identity is almost entirely based on a negotiation of traditional ethnic identities with Westernized stereotypes and perceptions of these identities.

At the same time, the construction of the text itself -- its multiple voices and times without any solid reference points, the fragmented sentences, and perhaps most of all the inconsistent yet regular use of the second person which demands a knowledge or understanding of the reader that the reader simply doesn't possess -- all mark the book as a work shaped largely by postmodern tendencies and attitudes (Spahr). In this context, the very concept of identity is a near fallacy, if not an utterly nonsensical notion. There is certainly a great deal of postmodern meaninglessness observable throughout the novel, much of it related to the sense of self that the central figure of the novel seems in constant undirected and unconscious search of -- she is grasping randomly at the straws of her life and finding nothing solid.

The construction of the book into nine sections, each supposedly devoted to a specific Muse from the ancient Greek mythology of artistic inspiration, is itself emblematic of the struggle to define identity in the book. By rooting the work in that of the ancient Greeks, Cha is tying her text directly to the foundations of Western civilization and literature, but at the same time the text of each section does not always have a clear and definite resonance with the Muse to which it is dedicated. In this way, Cha is both paying respect to and utterly ignoring the mores and standards of Western literature, both literally and figuratively. This is highly similar to the identity of her protagonist, which understands, succumbs to, resists, and is confused by the various external forces attempting to shape and direct her all at once, in a confused an amorphous blob of identity.

Postmodern and Postcolonial

The elements…… [Read More]

Cha, Theresa Hak Kyung. Dictee. Berkeley: The University of California Press, 2001.

Cheng, Annie. "Memory and Anti-Documentary Desire in Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's Dictee." MELUS, Vol. 23, No. 4, (Winter, 1998), pp. 119-133. Accessed via JSTOR: http://www.jstor.org/stable/467831
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Identity in America Child of Essay

Words: 863 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 76166705

The poet explains that it is very difficult for a multicultural individual to find his or her place in the world, as they are constantly attracted by cultural values present in a variety of civilizations. All of these cultures are present in her mind and she accepts them by becoming a part of a unique community encompassing a wide variety of ideas. Because she does not feel comfortable looking in the past for a cultural identity, she wants to live in the present. This makes it possible for her to identify with a single culture that recognizes her character and that promotes the belief that it is perfectly normal for an individual to live in accordance with customs present in a series of cultures.

Morales considers that culture is more important than race when it comes to the factors that influence a particular individual. A multicultural individual behaves different from mainstream people, as he or she is accustomed to performing diverse activities that have entered his or her community as a result of the numerous numbers of cultures present here. It appears that Morales indirectly praises the American culture for the fact that it enabled people coming from diverse environments to interact and to become a part of a community of their own.

The poem uses the concept of food with the purpose of putting across factors that are representative for certain cultures. Morales is aware that there are many people in the U.S. who are similar to her and wants her poem to influence them in adopting a relaxed attitude regarding their cultural identity. From her perspective, one does not need to identify with a single culture in order for the respective individual to have his or her confidence strengthened. Instead, a person who is multicultural needs to accept his or her background and focus on living in the…… [Read More]

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Cultural Values and Personal Ethics Essay

Words: 1181 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 19247887

This whole process is grounded in a commitment to social justice...." (Morales, 2003)

Fortunately, the organization I work for has an open systems approach, which allows its employees to evaluate (1) ways of being (the psychological business process); (2) ways of knowing (the spiritual business process); and (3) ways of behaving (the theoretical and technical business processes). This open system philosophy frees the decision making process from cultural and personal influences, and instead encourages evaluation of issues on their independent merits (Williams, 1996, p. 100-101).

Thus, the organization that I work for has a culture, which has been more successful than most in avoiding the pitfalls of deeply embedded social or cultural identities, which often prove to be obstacles in the way of successful conflict management especially with our overseas units. This is contrary to the findings of several research studies, which have found that social identification and cultural values lead to people holding a fixed view of human character and attributing immutable dispositions to different social groups (Hong et.al, 2003; Salk & Shenkar, 2001).

The ethics view of justice also guides the decisions I make in my personal life. For instance, I make it a point never to patronize the products or services of companies that are known for either discriminatory or socially unjust practices. Thus, when there were widespread media reports in 1996 about the inhuman working conditions in Nike's plants in Vietnam and South East Asia, I had stopped using the brand. Similarly, when there were rumors about Tommy Hilfiger's racist attitude, I had decided to boycott his products till such time that it could be ascertained as to whether the rumors were, indeed, baseless.

The converse is also true, that is, I tend to favor the products and services of companies that are known for their exemplary corporate social responsibility. To name just one example, I remember being impressed by Ben & Jerry's…… [Read More]

Works Cited:
Hong, Ying-yi., Chan, G., Chiu, Chi-yue., Wong, R.Y.M. (2003, December). How are social identities linked to self-conception and intergroup orientation? The moderating effect of implicit theories. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Washington, Vol. 85:6, p. 1147.

Mattison, M. (2000). Ethical Decision Making: The Person in the Process. Social Work.
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Cultural Citizenship Refers to the Essay

Words: 631 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 39502901

This results in the creation of a sense of insecurity in people, which drives them to the comfort, and security of their cultural identities. Renato Rosaldo in his introductory essay to Latino Cultural Citizenship (Flores and Benmayor, 1997: 37) warns that "too often social thought anchors its research in the vantage point of the dominant social group and thus reproduces the dominant ideology by studying subordinated groups as a 'problem' rather than as people with agency -- with goals, perceptions, and purposes of their own."

Cultural citizenship thus allows Latinos to claim their rights as members of one ethnic group while it also lends supports to their beliefs, ideas and traditions. United States may appear to be nationalistic whole to the outside world, but within the country, there are several divisions and multiculturalism is a hot topic. Everyone knows and understands that dominant groups tend to receive nepotistic treatment from most institutions while the subordinate groups are pushed to the back. Initially the concept of cultural citizenship proved highly effective for the people. Latinos were always more Hispanic than American and they knew how to handle discriminatory treatment. But with the passage of time, this concept has lost its original efficacy since it has become so hackneyed and has also entered political and corporate world. This means that culture is not longer an ethnic concept only, it has also become a dominant force in different areas including politics and corporate world resulting in creation of numerous interest groups. The massive proliferation of these groups has negatively affected their efficacy and Latino's concept of cultural citizenship is not as useful in achieving their goals as it were once.… [Read More]

Flores, William V. And Rina Benmayor, 1997 Latino Cultural Citizenship: Claiming Identity, Space, and Rights. Boston: Beacon Press.

Inter-University Program for Latino Research, Culture Studies Working Group 1988 "Cultural Capital: Allusions, Gaps, and Glissandos in Recent Theoretical Developments." Sociological Theory 6: 153-168.
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Cultural Perceptions of Time in Africa Time Essay

Words: 6951 Length: 15 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 52859355

Cultural Perceptions of Time in Africa

Time is a foundational factor in every culture. The perception of time is different for most cultures and the determining factor to those differences is often based on the means of production. "Most cultures have some concept of time, although the way they deal with time may differ fundamentally." (Kokole 1994, 35) Tracing the perception of the concept of time in Africa can be seen as tracing the European racial prejudices of the intellect of the indigenous populations in the colonized regions of Africa. Much of the information regarding the development of time concepts in African culture is colonial and based on the European interlopers recorded ideas.

Some of those recorded ideas are those of missionaries and others are those of capitalist adventurers, with the intermittent mark of a very few true historians.

In Mali, as in many other parts of Africa, there are mixed systems of timereckoning: Islamic time overlays Bamana time, and French imported time overlays Islamic time. Whatever temporal structure people apply, they understand that the other systems impinge on their own. (Kone' 1994, 84)

One of the very first true historians recognized the correlation between an African oral tradition and European Calendar time to Sub-Saharan African culture. A great debt is owed to Emil Torday. The reenactment of the events of the day of discovery for Torday by Davidson in 1959, a pioneer in the tradition of western narrative history, serve as an excellent example of a proof of both historical record-keeping in Africa and the idea of organic time.

For the benefit of this European, one of the first they had ever set eyes on, the elders of the Bushongo recalled the legend and tradition of their past. That was not in the least difficult for them, since remembering the past was one of their duties. They unrolled their story in measured phrases. They went on and on. They were not to be hurried. They traversed the list of their kings, a list of one hundred and twenty names, right back to the god-king whose marvels had founded their nation.

(Davidson 1959, 3)

The establishment of cala nder time to a history of Africa came about while the Bushongo…… [Read More]

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Cultural Intonation Cultural Differences in Essay

Words: 3430 Length: 12 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 73347025

2009). Other studies had previously concluded that English infants developed a preference for trochaic words, the dominant stress construct of English words, over iambic stress patterns within the first year of life (Hohle et al. 2009). A comparison of German and Frecnh infants in four distinct experiments confirms and even narrows down the timeframe in which this differentiation of preference occurs, and also shows (through the French language experiments) that the ability to distinguish the two opposing stress patterns does not necessarily result in the development of preference, if the target language itself lacks a dominant stress structure (Hohle et al. 2009). Even at six months, a specific language begins to mediate perception.

An earlier study suggests that the timing of stress and intonation preference development is even sooner than six months. While citing evidence suggesting that language-independent phonetic contrasts and melodic variations are recognized within the first four months of life, while language-specific recognition does not begin until after six months, Frederici et al. (2007) shows (also using German and French infants) that stress recognition is definitely language specific by four months of age. Measurements of brain activity were taken that showed a clear spike when stress patterns of each infants' target language were heard, as compared to opposing stress patterns (Frederici et al. 2007). This shows not only a cognitive preference for language, but also a neurological one in infants as young as four months old.

Arciuli & Slowiaczek (2007) delve deeper into the neurological basis and mechanisms of language processing and stress preference, studying brain activity in adult subjects when confronted with various word-naming and recognizing tasks. The researchers found that stress typicality effects -- the recognition and response to different stress patterns -- arose only in the left hemisphere of the brain, though language processing as a whole requires portions of both hemispheres (Arciuli &…… [Read More]

Arciuli, J. & Slowiaczek, L. (2007). "The where and when of linguistic word-level prosody." Neuropsychologia 45(11), pp. 2638-42.

Bonvillain, N. (2007). Language, culture and communication: the meaning of messages, fifth edition. New York: Prentice Hall.
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Cultural Differences New Mexican History Essay

Words: 1406 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 73696118

Before Anglos came to dominate the land, Cabeza de Baca portrays a kind of paradise-like environment, where even the sheepherders were like "musicians and poets" and "the troubadours of old," and every person had a story (Cabeza de Baca 11). This has been called a method of "preserving the culture" against the dominant discourse of Anglos: Cabeza de Baca, along with other writers of her generation are portrayed as trying to "get it [their culture] right" in an effort to transcend the overwhelming discourse of the Anglo "other" (Cabeza de Baca xx). Using Hispanic phrases and names, blurring historiography and biography, and the view of the past as a kind of lost "Eden" are all aspects of the authors 'agenda' (Cabeza de Baca xx). Cabeza de Baca deliberately uses English as a way of communicating with the Anglo reader and 'setting the record straight.'

Yet while Cabeza de Baca strives to paint a picture of a lost world, her tone is respectful as much as it is nostalgic. Learning from the storytellers around her was clearly a critical aspect of her development as a writer. Furthermore, although she speaks from a Hispanic vantage point, Cabeza de Baca was noted for paying great deal of homage to native foods and practices, and when she became a teacher was dismayed at the fact that native history and culture was not a part of student's education: "one sentence and perhaps a paragraph told about the Indians" she marveled (Cabeza de Baca 159). She was fluent in several native tongues and was one of the first educators and health workers to stress preserving the native diet through a return to traditional practices, rather than imposing a white diet upon native peoples. The fact that her own work is in English has been called an attempt to "dominate the language" of the colonizer and to show her fluency in various languages and cultures, and not simply in her own Hispanic heritage (Cabeza de Baca xx).

Unlike Anglos, Cabeza de Baca suggests she is able to see the world from a variety of cultural perspectives: as someone who is a settler yet who is not one of the privileged castes of Anglo professional farmers, she…… [Read More]

Cabeza de Baca, Fabiola. We fed them cactus. UNM Press, 1954.