What does Cultural Identity Mean?

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Culture can be defined as human practices, the languages one speak, values that are based on ethnicity, religion, and common interest. It also includes the arts, social interactions of groups and people and human intellectual achievement. Culture can also be termed as and symbol of communication. The symbols of communication can include knowledge, skills acquired from a group, attitude, motive, and values. Culture is also the total sum behavior of all learned things from a particular group through interaction that can either be traditional or modern but are passed down from generation to generations (Banner, 2017). Identity can be defined as a set of personal behavior that can either be acquired passed down from the interaction that the individual is associated with for instance a group or traditions from the group. Identity consists of qualities that identify an individual to a particular group that gives a sense of belong (Phillips, 2003). Example of types of culture: Consumer Culture Consumer culture can be defined as a culture that is related to social status, values, and activities that are related to what the individual is consuming or using in the society. The world is continuously changing since in the past people defined themselves by the work they did such as profession of a teacher, mechanics, banker or shopkeeper.

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In the recent time’s people have started identifying themselves with other things they get to do due to the availability of money such as leisure, what they purchase for their personal use such as iPhone and luxurious cars is what they identify themselves with. Consumer culture is linked to a high culture that is expressed intellectually or artistically. This culture is mainly related to sophisticated taste in the fine arts or humanities. For instance: A love for classical music or appreciating opera, gourmet food, and wine, enjoyment of ballet, Going to art exhibitions, Perusing fine writing, for example, the works of art (Banner, 2017).According to Dolsman, 1999 consumer culture can be defined as the effects that are trickling down in people of lower social status envy and emulates those of higher social status. In turn individuals of more upper class and high status change their consumer habits for them to remain distinguished. Characteristics of consumer culture. Culture is comprehensive. This implies that all parts must fit together in some legitimate form. For instance, bowing and a powerful urge to evade the loss of face are bound together in their appearance of the significance of regard. Culture is learned instead of something that is conceived. We will think about the mechanics of adapting later in the course. Culture is showed inside limits of adequate conduct. For instance, in American culture, one can’t go to class naked, however wearing anything from a suit to shorts and a T-shirt would more often than not be satisfactory. Inability to carry on inside the endorsed standards may prompt authorizations, extending from being dragged away by the police for foul presentation to being giggled at by others for wearing a suit at the shoreline.

A cognizant consciousness of common benchmarks is constrained.The Germans blocked one American government operative amid World War II primarily as a result of the manner in which he held his knife and fork while eating. Societies fall someplace on a continuum amongst static and dynamic relying upon how rapidly they acknowledge the change. For instance, American culture has changed an incredible arrangement since the 1950s, while the way of life of Saudi Arabia has changed substantially less. Society Culture. Society culture comprises of nearby traditions and convictions that precisely mirror the lives and encounters of the general population, for example, people tunes and stories that are passed on starting with one age then onto the next (Banner, 2017). The characteristics of society culture, recalled by A CARAT, are that it is: – Real – Made by standard individuals – Related with the dynamic cooperation – Established in the encounters of standard individuals. Connected with pre-modern social orders – Customary How culture helps one form his/her identity. Formulation of one’s identity explains how one makes choices between products and services. Consumer culture defines the identity of an individual and also an identity may also influence consumption. The demand theory suggests that the consumer theory identifies the products and services that will provide the maximum utility for the disposable income of an individual (Worthington et al., 2001).

Alternatively, it is noted that individuals choose products that closely match their current personality or what they aspire to be. The identity of an individual can be through his/her possession and other aspects of self which may include formal and informal clothing ‘s, tattoos, piercings and ownership of personal belongings such as motorbikes, cars or houses. Individuals identify with other through a subculture of what they consume for example in skydiving, spectators at sporting events or common ownership Schouten et al., 1995) (al S. e., 1995). According to Schouten views on identity and consumer culture, the Hardley Davidson is seen as a religious culture icon (Belk et al., 1991) which is worshipped through cleaning and maintenance rituals as part of the brotherhood. It is not possible for an individual to join this religion without a bike. For further commitment, an individual must have a tattoo; customize his/her bike and pins. All these help an individual identity to the particular group. Identity transformation Identity can be transformed through consumer culture for instance when an individual performs plastic surgery. Schouten, 1991 explains the reason that could be behind such kind of operation is that an individual feels that body image is important to self-concept concerning perception, evaluation, and attractiveness. The procedure thus makes an individual more comfortable in the role that they are playing or want to play or is a basis for a further identity change.

The results of the difference can either provide greater control, confidence, and feeling of power. Identity transformation can be gradual and sometimes not noticed. For instance, a decision to tidy the wardrobe and take out the old passions and clothing is because they did not grow with the extended self (Belk et al., 1989). A landmark in an individual’s life can also cause one to have an identity transformation, for example, an individual may consider dressing in a different style due to a specific job requirement, divorce or the loss of a spouse (Phillips, 2003). The teenage years explains better the transition of identity. In teenage years they will both consider the consumer culture and the social culture to transition them. The products and the services that will be used by this group of individual will be influenced by social functions and consumer culture (Dolfsman, 1999). Products and services that change the transformation of both social and consumer culture are clothes, music, sources of information concerning what is desirable or not. For example magazines, advertisements, films, peers, celebrates and television (Englis et al., 1993). The information from the various sources is useful in the construction of identity-based upon how it is interpreted socially and how it is consumed.

With the two cultures in hand, identity is likely to change with time. According to Bourdieu, 1990, He has given an intense hypothesis of social generation whereby people disguise the qualifications and qualities which structure the social world, and after that, acting suddenly in the light of these refinements, recreate the social structure whose implications they have internalized. He has examined how the habitus airs which give real shape to aggregate classes and qualifications – is shaped from most punctual adolescence, as the tyke arranges itself in organized, gendered and differentially way social space, and disguises its goal life-risks in its emotional desires and interests. Such procedures create an arrangement of a total, superimposed implications, attitudes and methods of observation epitomized in the person. A portion of these might be set down in the outset, yet they are everyday items even if they now and again appear to people as ‘primordial’ givens. How a culturally competent psychologist could assist this individual work. Not at all like race or ethnicity, individuals can receive a culture, and one individual could be some portion of a few societies construct not just in light of race and ethnicity yet also on original character, age, and different components.

In this way, when working with various people, psychologists must characterize the populaces inside the general populace to guarantee the necessities of every person in the masses are met. Since populaces are also evolving, the quantity of societies inside a network keeps on developing, monitoring the distinctions among society culture is essential for working viably with individuals. A social ability can encourage physiologist to enhance their training to help particular populace. Individuals all have some biased convictions, including some they may not know they have, and make judgments given those convictions. Indeed, even those of us who don’t plainly show predisposition and bias some of the time coincidentally say things without understanding the repercussions of the things they say. Self-reflection and sound mindfulness are significant when working t individuals who come from different cultures. Once we comprehend our particular convictions, we can see how those convictions may impact our conduct and, this way, understand the effect our behavior may have on an individual. The objective isn’t to take in each normal for each culture yet basically to know that a few practices or states of mind of understudies might be ascribed to their way of life, furthermore, in this manner, we as teachers should be delicate to their social personality (Asca School Counselor, 2018)


Belk et al (1991). Can’t Buy Me Love:Dating,Money,and Gifts. Adances in Consumer Research, 521. Englis et al (1993). Consumption and irrational desire. European Journal of Marketing, 22. al, S. e. (1995). Selves intransition;Symbolic consumptionin personal rites of passage and identiy reconstruction. Journal of Consumer Research, 425. al, W. e. (2001). Economics for Business-Blending theory and practice. Financial Times. Asca School Counselor. (2018, 9 12). OUR ROLE IN CULTURAL COMPETENCY. Retrieved from https://www.schoolcounselor.org/asca/media/asca/ASCAU/Cultural-Competency-Specialist/OurRole.pdf Banner, M. (2017). Identity. Retrieved from Sociology Revision: A love for classical music or appreciating opera,gourmet food and wine,enjoyment of ballet, Going to art exhibitions,Perusing fine writing, for example, the works of art . Bourdieu, P. (1990). A social critique of the judgemnt of taste. The logic of practice. Phillips, C. (2003, September 9). How do consumers express their identity through the choice of products that they buy? Retrieved from https://www.bath.ac.uk/management/research/pdf/2003-17.pdf W.Dolfsma. (1999). The consumption of music and the expression of values:A social economic explanation for the advent of pop music. American journal of economics and sociology, 58.

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What does cultural identity mean?. (2019, Apr 10). Retrieved December 9, 2022 , from

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