Cultural Identity Essay

1727 Words7 Pages
an important role. “Primarily, culture is concerned with the production and the exchange of meanings – the ‘giving and taking of meaning’ – between the members of a society or group”. When members of a society, group or culture have shared access to language, they can share meaning and can – roughly speaking – give the same meaning to different happenings and objects. Consequently, representations can vary between different groups, societies and cultures. Hence, there is no ‘one truth’; representations are not pure reflections of reality, but rather cultural constructions.
Every group, culture, society or community creates its own representation of what is to be seen as the ‘truth’. Existing dominant representations, however, call for the
…show more content…
The positive perspective reflects the second way cultural identity has been conceptualised; it challenges “the fixed binaries that stabilize meaning and representation and show how meaning is never finished or complete”. This postmodern and discursive perspective on identity recognises the importance of power and knowledge and their role in the production of differences and similarities. It is exactly here, Hall argues, that we can place the diasporic experience:

“the diasporic experience as I intend it here is defined, not by essence or purity, but by the recognition of a necessary heterogeneity and diversity; by a conception of ‘identity’ which lives with and through, not despite difference; by hybridity. Diasporic identities are those which are constantly producing and reproducing themselves anew, through transformation and difference”.

It is precisely the ambivalence between a feeling of oneness/rootedness and difference/contingency, as well as the tension between fixed and fluid conceptualisations of cultural identity that mark diasporic identity. Diasporas are transnational and transcultural in nature, thus challenging ‘imagined’ geographical, cultural and social borders – making them distorted and
Open Document