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Culture and Cultural Identity
The importance of identity
Who am I?
I am…
I am…
I am…
I am…
I am…
I am…
Definition of Identity:
“the reflective self-conception or self-image that we
each derive from our family, gender, cultural, ethnic,
and individual socialization process” (Ting-Toomey).
Three levels of identity (Hall):
Personal (what makes us unique)
Relational (our relationships with others)
Cultural, Communal or Social (large-scale communities
such as nationality, ethnicity, gender, religious or political
Selected Social Identities
Racial Identity – a socially constructed idea that still
persists in the United States
Ethnic Identity – derived from a sense of shared heritage,
history, traditions, values, area of origin, and sometimes
Gender Identity (different than sexual identity) – how a
particular culture differentiates masculine and feminine
social roles
National Identity – the nation/country one was born into
( or a sense of place)
Identity in Intercultural
“Cultural identity is a focal element in intercultural
communication” (Imahori and Cupach).
In intercultural communication, participants will have to search
for a middle ground between their different communication
With so many intercultural marriages, many US youths
consider cultural diversity as a normal part of social life. “There
is a growing willingness—and ability—to cross cultures, where
one’s personal identity is shaped more by cultural preferences
than by skin color” (Kotkin and Tseng).
The dark side of identity
Stereotypes- categorization that mentally organizes your
experience with, and guides your behavior toward, a particular
group of people.
Prejudices – are deeply held negative feelings associates with
a particular group (anger, fear, aversion, anxiety).
Racism – an extension of stereotyping and prejudice. The
belief that one race is inherently superior to another; “genetic
Ethnocentrism – one’s own culture is superior to any other.
Learning Exercise
Cultural Interview: Due Monday, April 19th