Individuals’ culture and identity give one a position in society. Self-knowledge has always contributed to identity in society. People are born in culture; they find culture and the way of life people around them live in, and they adopt the same culture. This culture now identifies a person outside his area. Thus one can be positioned according to how they are identified in that setting they are in at a particular time.
Individuals’ culture and identity on their position in society.
Race and ethnicity are some of the determinants of identity in society. A person can be considered of a particular ethnicity, thus being positioned in a certain way that may differ from his/her expectations; race also may happen the same (Perry). All these categorizations bring anxiety and, at times, fear or loneness in a person; they end up positioning themselves differently.
Some countries identify being open as a strength, while others see it as a weakness in someone. Therefore these two communities have different cultural beliefs. Individual culture significantly impacts their position; Asian nations and Africans still believe in the dependent mindset, unlike Europe and North America believe in the independent perspective (Becker, 280). The culture of Africanism identifies an African on their character and beliefs. Africans see respect as little cowardice and being subjective. In contrast to the western world, especially Europe and North America might consider it a disorder and praise cheerfulness and openness.
Religion has been one of the factors of identity. People identify themselves according to beliefs and behave differently depending on their religions (Perry). Different religions expect people to have some protocols to follow as long as they are in that religion. Freedom has not been easy in faith; most people feel enslaved in what they have to believe in.
Having a formed perception about something has been a significant problem dealing with culture and identity impacts. People have different opinions based on specific cultures, and most are unproven; thus, stereotyping comes into play (Fischer et al., 1118). Stereotyping occurred when a story is told or heard about someone or a set of people, then putting that in mind that everyone from that place or that kind is the same as described. Stereotyped people feel judged and positioned in a particular manner. Africans have been stereotyped as being illiterate, which is not valid. There are many Africans who are illiterate and have excellent qualifications.
Gender is another factor that culture has always vary in interpreting. Cultures mainly consider gender roles to be discriminative. Roles played by women in some cultures are complex and positioned like laborers (Van et al., 277). They feel no freedom in their culture, primarily political roles and leadership considered to be male. Most cultures have discriminatory gender parity.
The race has been the most considered factor of identity. Discrimination has been chiefly based on skin color; Europeans have been considered the most outstanding racism agents. The majority of Africans have been so uncomfortable whenever they are amidst white people. This positioning was brought by the racist culture planted back in the days. Freedom is limited in some cultures where there is still intense racism.
One of my neighbors, who is Hungarian, narrates how he has been able to cope with life in and out of Hungary. In Hungary, he comes from a humble background; his parents are farmers. He has struggled through school and was able to join the university. As a farmer’s son, he was always positioned as a working cadre of people compared to another well of families in their neighborhood. He was able to qualify for the scholarship abroad; it became challenging for him since he could not speak English. He felt isolated and out of place (Fischer et al., 1120). He could not understand or catch jokes his colleagues used to make on campus. After some lessons in English, he was able to interact and understand what people would say.
There was another problem that he was dealing with internally, racist remarks. He was born of a Hungarian mother and a Kenyan dad, meaning he had skin color. Growing up, he was raised by stepdad, and he did not see any racial discrimination at home until when he was in secondary school, his classmates started teasing him about the skin color. As he confesses, thou it wasn’t that bad compared to what he experienced abroad when he was isolated even with lecturers and ignored by most people in the institution. Having skin color has never been a choice; one is born in a particular family with different traits which should be appreciated rather than mocked since it is unique (Van et al., 279). Self-identification is essential in dealing with other cultures that want you to have an identity, or they conceptualize who you are because of what they have seen.
Now he is a lecturer at one of the universities in America, and he is in the for equality and equity in the United States. He is able to teach his students on segregation issues and discourage it all the same. He is a qualified mathematician and has always done motivations to new students in the United States.
In conclusion, it can be noted that culture has an impact on individual positions. Racism has come out clear that it is one factor that significantly contributes to limited freedom. The majority of these factors have proved to be cultural dependents. There is a need to observe cultures to prevent positioning, discrimination, stereotyping, and limit of freedom in society.
Perry, Melissa Shamini. “Feasting on culture and identity: Food functions in a multicultural and transcultural Malaysia.” 3L: Language, Linguistics, Literature® 23.4 (2017).
Becker, Maja, et al. “Being oneself through time: Bases of self-continuity across 55 cultures.” Self and Identity 17.3 (2018): 276-293.
Fischer, Ronald, Johannes Alfons Karl, and Moritz Valentin Fischer. “RETRACTED: Norms Across Cultures: A Cross-Cultural Meta-Analysis of Norms Effects in the Theory of Planned Behavior.” Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 50.10 (2019): 1112-1126.
Van Zomeren, Martijn, and Winnifred R. Louis. “Culture meets collective action: Exciting synergies and some lessons to learn for the future.” (2017): 277-284.
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