Identity In A Multicultural Society

2204 Words9 Pages
INTRODUCTION In this globalised world we are living now, it is of great importance to consider the different cultures that surround us, how these multi cultures may shape and affect our identities and whether it is possible for an individual to have some sense of belonging when living in a multicultural society. Once we are able to recognise and accept the existence and interaction of different cultures, we would be able to identify ourselves as distinct from the other and as members of a group in society. Two of the main social contexts in which human beings construct their identity are first, the family and then the school. This essay focuses on the school context, especially on the role of the educator as a facilitator of the means to create…show more content…
When defining identity, it is inevitable not to refer to our feelings and sense of belonging to a determined culture. Aspects of identity also include: race, gender, age, ethnicity, place, history, nationality, sexual orientation, and language. The way individuals affiliate to, and become members of different groups, allows them to build their social and group identity. These groups being their families, schools, jobs, churches, place of origin, or any community will provide them with the propitious environment and means to feel identified with their ways of being and will recognize them as members of the collective. Considering the different ways an individual may form his/her identity, it is necessary to highlight its classification into Personal Identity, Collective Identity, National Identity and Ethnic Identity. An individual identifies him/herself as unique and different from the other when constructing his/her personal identity. Here, the relevant factor is to be, to a certain extent, free to make their own choices without being imposed to obey the collective (Wiewiorka, 1998, p.893). On the other hand, individuals feel the necessity to belong, or have a sense of belonging, to a group. This collective identity enhances their self-esteem and it is “a condition of group esteem and of its recognition” without being stigmatised (Wiewiorka, 1998,…show more content…
The sharing of similar values, beliefs and behaviours of a particular culture, allows the individuals to identify themselves in a group and therefore, to recognize themselves as members of it and at the same time, different from the other. In this sense, Wolff (2000) claims that “Culture as a communicatively generated phenomenon, creates collective identity through process of inclusion and exclusion; i.e., collective identity is the result of defining relationships of similarity and difference vis-à-vis identities –real or imagined- of other groups” (p.
Open Document