Cultural identity

2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Culture and Diversity

Cultural identity is the (feeling of) identity of a group or culture, or of an individual as far as he is influenced by his belonging to a group or culture. Cultural identity is similar to and has overlaps with, but is not synonymous with, identity politics.


There are modern questions of culture that are transfered into questions of identity. Various cultural studies and social theory investigate the question of cultural identity. In recent decades, a new form of identification and with pieces broken off from the individual as a coherent whole subject. Cultural identity remarks upon: place, gender, race, history, nationality, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and ethnicity.

Some critics of cultural identity argue that the preservation of cultural identity, being based upon difference, is a divisive force in society, and that cosmopolitanism gives individuals a greater sense of shared citizenship. That is not to say that cultural identity must always be divisive. When considering practical association in international society, states may share an inherent part of their 'make up' that gives common ground, and alternate means of identifying with each other. Examples can be taken from both old and contemporary world order. In the old world order European states shared a high level of cultural homogenity, due to their common history of 'frequently violent relationships, and Greco-Roman cultural origins' Brown also argues that the Western invention of the nation-state has proven to be an appealing and homogenising factor to many cultures.

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