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Considering cultural identity

Identities can be examined as being personal (characteristics and personality), social (roles and membership), and cultural (collectively shared) aspe

Identities can be personal, social and cultural. As multifaceted people relating in different arenas, your identity list is probably made up of all three.

Your discussion helped reveal that we each have many different types of identities. These include our distinctive personalities or character, qualities (personal identities), our roles or responsibilities in our families, school or work place (social identities), or those facets influenced by our cultural context (cultural identities).

For this course, we’d like to focus on the concept of “cultural identity”, which arises from our sense of shared community and apparent similarities, and which usually generates some common patterns and mutually valued social markers. Cultural identities help us create a sense of belonging, security, satisfaction, and continuing connected-ness. They might exist at various levels, depending on whether we “identify” with our nation, ethnic group, or geographic region of a country. They can also come from group affiliations due to social status, faith in a religious belief or ideology, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition, and so on.

Please review your “list of 10” and circle those items you now consider to be linked to culture. Note what other learners have shared about theirs. We hope that this process helps you better appreciate these very important and diverse parts of “who we are” across cultural contexts.

How is the process of sorting through your identities affecting you? What ideas or realizations is it awakening in you?
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Intercultural Communication: Dynamics of cultural identities in global interaction

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