The Idea of Cultural Identity

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The idea of cultural identity is a subject that establishes common interests, beliefs, ethics, and habits among society members. Most think that where you go they have to change how you act based off how others around you act. This form of cultural identity is known as an fluid cultural identity. In most cases this form of identity is helpful to many individuals where it allows them to fit in easier and become apart of a society allowing them to become more comfortable. Another common cultural identity is a fixed identity, this form of identity is where the individual stays true to himself no matter where they are or who they are around.

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InThe Absolute True Diary Of A Part Time Indianby Sherman Alexie, the main character, Junior, would have a fluid cultural identity. Junior is an adolescent who is poor and lives on an indian reservation, Junior was born with cerebral spinal fluid inside his skull. However Junior was fond of art and math and was good at basketball. In the beginning of the book Junior was attending high school on the reservation with his best friend Rowdy and other reservation kids, further on in the story Junior transfers to an affluent white high school. In his new school Junior tries to fit in acting as if he is not poor once he has found affections for a girl named Penelope. This is what you consider a fluid cultural identity, where Junior tries fitting in. An example in the story is on halloween, where both Junior and Penelope dress up as homeless people, and Junior jokes that his costume is not too far off from the clothing he usually wears. He says this as a joke but truly it was similar to clothes Junior was used to wearing. Overall Junior is following the way of others around him in order to fit in with the crowd. In the story Junior says, Poverty doesn’t give you strength or teach you lessons about perseverance. No, poverty only teaches you how to be poor. Junior was used to being poor and in poverty, meanwhile in school he tried to adapt and be someone different around a new crowd.

Another fluid cultural based article is the poem Let America Be America Again” by Langston Hughes. Hughes declares the idea of letting America be America again, it should be great strong land of lovenot a land that drove off negro slaves. The idea of this poem is that people changed how the American society was run. Once the idea of individuals not given the proper freedom and being driven off land this same idea was put to use over decades. This poem relates to a fluid based culture because America has become a society where they drive people off there own land and taking away people’s freedom. Hughes whole says It never was America to me.” meaning America was or use to be considered a land of freedom and liberty and cultural influences / identities changed the ways of a land.

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 better option because it allows you to become apart of the society you are in and be welcomed in a quicker manner and adapt to that form of lifestyle. A fluid identity allows you to face new experiences instead of sticking to your regular routine on an everyday basis.

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The idea of Cultural Identity. (2019, Apr 10). Retrieved January 29, 2023 , from

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