Cultural Identity Essay

27 August, 2020

12 minutes read

Author:  Elizabeth Brown

No matter where you study, composing essays of any type and complexity is a critical component in any studying program. Most likely, you have already been assigned the task to write a cultural identity essay, which is an essay that has to do a lot with your personality and cultural background. In essence, writing a cultural identity essay is fundamental for providing the reader with an understanding of who you are and which outlook you have. This may include the topics of religion, traditions, ethnicity, race, and so on. So, what shall you do to compose a winning cultural identity essay?

Cultural Identity

Cultural Identity Paper: Definitions, Goals & Topics 

cultural identity essay example

Before starting off with a cultural identity essay, it is fundamental to uncover what is particular about this type of paper. First and foremost, it will be rather logical to begin with giving a general and straightforward definition of a cultural identity essay. In essence, cultural identity essay implies outlining the role of the culture in defining your outlook, shaping your personality, points of view regarding a multitude of matters, and forming your qualities and beliefs. Given a simpler definition, a cultural identity essay requires you to write about how culture has influenced your personality and yourself in general. So in this kind of essay you as a narrator need to give an understanding of who you are, which strengths you have, and what your solid life position is.

Yet, the goal of a cultural identity essay is not strictly limited to describing who you are and merely outlining your biography. Instead, this type of essay pursues specific objectives, achieving which is a perfect indicator of how high-quality your essay is. Initially, the primary goal implies outlining your cultural focus and why it makes you peculiar. For instance, if you are a french adolescent living in Canada, you may describe what is so special about it: traditions of the community, beliefs, opinions, approaches. Basically, you may talk about the principles of the society as well as its beliefs that made you become the person you are today.

So far, cultural identity is a rather broad topic, so you will likely have a multitude of fascinating ideas for your paper. For instance, some of the most attention-grabbing topics for a personal cultural identity essay are:

  • Memorable traditions of your community
  • A cultural event that has influenced your personality 
  • Influential people in your community
  • Locations and places that tell a lot about your culture and identity

Cultural Identity Essay Structure

As you might have already guessed, composing an essay on cultural identity might turn out to be fascinating but somewhat challenging. Even though the spectrum of topics is rather broad, the question of how to create the most appropriate and appealing structure remains open.

Like any other kind of an academic essay, a cultural identity essay must compose of three parts: introduction, body, and concluding remarks. Let’s take a more detailed look at each of the components:


Starting to write an essay is most likely one of the most time-consuming and mind-challenging procedures. Therefore, you can postpone writing your introduction and approach it right after you finish body paragraphs. Nevertheless, you should think of a suitable topic as well as come up with an explicit thesis. At the beginning of the introduction section, give some hints regarding the matter you are going to discuss. You have to mention your thesis statement after you have briefly guided the reader through the topic. You can also think of indicating some vital information about yourself, which is, of course, relevant to the topic you selected.

Your main body should reveal your ideas and arguments. Most likely, it will consist of 3-5 paragraphs that are more or less equal in size. What you have to keep in mind to compose a sound ‘my cultural identity essay’ is the argumentation. In particular, always remember to reveal an argument and back it up with evidence in each body paragraph. And, of course, try to stick to the topic and make sure that you answer the overall question that you stated in your topic. Besides, always keep your thesis statement in mind: make sure that none of its components is left without your attention and argumentation.


Finally, after you are all finished with body paragraphs and introduction, briefly summarize all the points in your final remarks section. Paraphrase what you have already revealed in the main body, and make sure you logically lead the reader to the overall argument. Indicate your cultural identity once again and draw a bottom line regarding how your culture has influenced your personality.

Best Tips For Writing Cultural Identity Essay

Writing a ‘cultural identity essay about myself’ might be somewhat challenging at first. However, you will no longer struggle if you take a couple of plain tips into consideration. Following the tips below will give you some sound and reasonable cultural identity essay ideas as well as make the writing process much more pleasant:

  • Start off by creating an outline. The reason why most students struggle with creating a cultural identity essay lies behind a weak structure. The best way to organize your ideas and let them flow logically is to come up with a helpful outline. Having a reference to build on is incredibly useful, and it allows your essay to look polished.
  • Remember to write about yourself. The task of a cultural identity essay implies not focusing on your culture per se, but to talk about how it shaped your personality. So, switch your focus to describing who you are and what your attitudes and positions are. 
  • Think of the most fundamental cultural aspects. Needless to say, you first need to come up with a couple of ideas to be based upon in your paper. So, brainstorm all the possible ideas and try to decide which of them deserve the most attention. In essence, try to determine which of the aspects affected your personality the most.
  • Edit and proofread before submitting your paper. Of course, the content and the coherence of your essay’s structure play a crucial role. But the grammatical correctness matters a lot too. Even if you are a native speaker, you may still make accidental errors in the text. To avoid the situation when unintentional mistakes spoil the impression from your essay, always double check your cultural identity essay. 

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Essays about Culture and Identity: 9 Examples And Prompts

Writing essays about culture and identity will help you explore your understanding of it. Here are examples that will give you inspiration for your next essay.

Culture can refer to customs, traditions, beliefs, lifestyles, laws, artistic expressions, and other elements that cultivate the collective identity. Different cultures are established across nations, regions, communities, and social groups. They are passed on from generation to generation while others evolve or are abolished to give way to modern beliefs and systems.

While our cultural identity begins at home, it changes as we involve ourselves with other groups (friends, educational institutions, social media communities, political groups, etc.) Culture is a very relatable subject as every person is part of a culture or at least can identify with one. Because it spans broad coverage, there are several interesting cultural subjects to write about.

Our culture and identity are dynamic. This is why you may find it challenging to write about it. To spark your inspiration, check out our picks of the best culture essays. 

1. Sweetness and Light by Matthew Arnolds

2. how auto-tune revolutionized the sound of popular music by simon reynolds, 3. how immigration changes language by john mcwhorter, 4. the comfort zone: growing up with charlie brown by jonathan franzen, 5. culture and identity definition by sandra graham, 6. how culture and surroundings influence identity by jeanette lucas, 7. how the food we eat reflects our culture and identity by sophia stephens, 8. identity and culture: my identity, culture, and identity by april casas, 9. how america hinders the cultural identity of their own citizens by seth luna, 1. answer the question, “who am i”, 2. causes of culture shock, 3. your thoughts on dystopia and utopia, 4. gender inequality from a global perspective, 5. the most interesting things you learned from other cultures, 6. the relationship between cultural identity and clothes, 7. describe your culture, 8. what is the importance of honoring your roots , 9. how can a person adapt to a new culture, 10. what artistic works best express your country’s culture, 11. how has social media influenced human interaction, 12. how do you protect the cultures of indigenous peoples, 13. are k-pop and k-drama sensations effectively promoting korea’s culture , 14. what is the importance of cultural diversity.

“… [A]nd when every man may say what he likes, our aspirations ought to be satisfied. But the aspirations of culture, which is the study of perfection, are not satisfied, unless what men say, when they may say what they like, is worth saying,—has good in it, and more good than bad.”

Arnolds compels a re-examination of values at a time when England is leading global industrialization and beginning to believe that greatness is founded on material progress. 

The author elaborates why culture, the strive for a standard of perfection, is not merely driven by scientific passions and, more so, by materialistic affluence. As he esteems religion as “that voice of the deepest human experience” to harmonize men in establishing that ideal society, Arnolds stresses that culture is the effort to “make reason and the will of God prevail” while humanizing gained knowledge to be society’s source of “sweetness and light.”

“Few innovations in sound production have been simultaneously so reviled and so revolutionary. Epoch-defining or epoch-defacing, Auto-Tune is indisputably the sound of the 21st century so far.”

Reynolds shows how Auto-Tune has shaped a pop music genre that has cut across cultures. The article maps out the music landscape Auto-Tune created and examines its impact on the culture of song productions and the modern taste for music. While the author debunks accusations that Auto-Tune destroyed the “natural” process of creating music, he also points out that the technology earned its reverence with big thanks to society’s current custom of using technology to hide blemishes and other imperfections.

Looking for more? Check out these essays about culture shock .

“… [T]he heavy immigration that countries like Italy are experiencing will almost certainly birth new kinds of Italian that are rich with slang, somewhat less elaborate than the standard, and… widely considered signs of linguistic deterioration, heralding a future where the “original” standard language no longer exists.”

American linguist McWhorter pacifies fears over the death of “standard” languages amid the wave of immigration to Europe. On the contrary, language is a vital expression of a culture, and for some, preserving is tantamount to upholding a cultural standard. 

However, instead of seeing the rise of new “multiethnolects” such as the Black English in America and Kiezdeutsch in Germany as threats to language and culture, McWhorter sees them as a new way to communicate and better understand the social groups that forayed these new languages.

“I wonder why “cartoonish” remains such a pejorative. It took me half my life to achieve seeing my parents as cartoons. And to become more perfectly a cartoon myself: what a victory that would be.”

This essay begins with a huge fight between Franzen’s brother and father to show how the cultural generation gap sweeping the 60s has hit closer to home. This generation gap, where young adults were rejecting the elders’ old ways in pursuit of a new and better culture, will also be the reason why his family ends up drifting apart. Throughout the essay, Franzen treads this difficult phase in his youth while narrating fondly how Peanuts, a pop culture icon at the time, was his source of escape. 

“…Culture is… your background… and Identity is formed where you belong to… Leopold Sedar Senghor and Shirley Geok-Lin Lim both talks about how culture and identity can impact… society…”

In this essay, Graham uses “To New York” by Senghor and “Learning To Love America” by Lim as two pieces of literature that effectively describe the role of culture and identity to traveling individuals. 

The author refers to Sengho’s reminder that people can adapt but must not forget their culture even if they go to a different place or country. On the other hand, Lim discusses immigrants’ struggle to have double identities.

“Culture is something that surrounds all of us and progress to shape our lives every day… Identity is illustrated as the state of mind in which someone or something distinguishes their own character traits that lead to determining who they really are, what they represent.”

Lucas is keen on giving examples of how his culture and surroundings influence an individual’s identity. She refers to Kothari’s “If you are what you eat, then what am I?” which discusses Kothari’s search for her identity depending on what food she eats. Food defines a person’s culture and identity, so Kothari believes that eating food from different countries will change his identity.

Lucas also refers to “Down These Mean Streets” by Piri Thomas, which argues how different cultural and environmental factors affect us. Because of what we encounter, there is a possibility that we will become someone who we are not. 

“What we grow is who we are. What we buy is who we are. What we eat is who we are.”

Stephens’ essay teaches its readers that the food we grow and eat defines us as a person. She explains that growing a crop and harvesting it takes a lot of effort, dedication, and patience, which mirrors our identity. 

Another metaphor she used is planting rice: it takes skills and knowledge to make it grow. Cooking rice is more accessible than cultivating it – you can quickly cook rice by boiling it in water. This reflects people rich in culture and tradition but who lives simpler life. 

“Every single one has their own unique identity and culture. Culture plays a big role in shaping your identity. Culture is what made me the person I am today and determines who or what I choose to associate myself with.”

Casas starts her piece by questioning who she is. In trying to learn and define who she is, she writes down and describes herself and her personality throughout the essay. Finally, she concludes that her culture is a big part of her identity, and she must understand it to understand herself.

“When it comes to these stereotypes we place on each other, a lot of the time, we succumb to the stereotypes given to us. And our cultural identity is shaped by these expectations and labels others give us. That is why negative stereotypes sometimes become true for a whole group or community.”

In this essay, Luna talks about how negative stereotyping in the United States led to moral distortion. For example, Americans are assumed to be ignorant of other countries’ cultures, making it difficult to understand other people’s cultures and lifestyles. 

She believes that stereotyping can significantly affect an individual or group’s identity. She suggests Americans should improve their intellectual competence by being sensitive to other people’s cultures.

14 Prompts on Essays about Culture and Identity

You can discuss many things on the subject of culture and identity. To give you a starting point, here are some prompts to help you write an exciting essay about culture. 

If you are interested in learning more, check out our essay writing tips and our round-up of the best essay checkers .

Understanding your personality is vital since continuous interaction with others can affect your personality. Write about your culture and identity; what is your personality? How do you define yourself? Everyone is unique, so by writing an essay about who you are, you’ll be able to understand why you act a certain way and connect with readers who have the same values. 

Here’s a guide on writing a descriptive essay to effectively relay your experience to your readers.

Sometimes, people need to get out of their comfort zone and interact with other individuals with different cultures, beliefs, or traditions. This is to broaden one’s perspective about the world. Aside from discussing what you’ve learned in that journey, you can also focus on the bits that shocked you. 

You can talk about a tradition or value that you found so bizarre because it differs from your culture. Then add how you processed it and finally adapted to it.

Essays about Culture and Identity: Your Thoughts on Dystopia and Utopia

Dystopia and Utopia are both imagined worlds. Dystopia is a world where people live in the worst or most unfavorable conditions, while Utopia is the opposite. 

You can write an essay about what you think a Dystopian or Utopian world may look like, how these societies will affect their citizens, etc. Then, consider what personality citizens of each world may have to depend on the two worlds’ cultures.

Today, more and more people are fighting for others to accept or at least respect the LGBTQ+ community. However, countries, territories, and religions still question their rights.

In your essay, you can talk about why these institutions react the way they do and how culture dictates someone’s identity in the wrong way. Before creating your own, feel free to read other essays and articles to learn more about the global gender inequality issue. 

The world has diverse cultures, traditions, and values. When you travel to a new place, learning and writing about your firsthand experiences with unique cultures and rituals will always be an interesting read.

In this prompt, you’ll research other cultures and how they shaped their group’s identity. Then, write about the most exciting aspects you’ve learned, why you found them fascinating, and how they differ from your culture.

Those proud of their culture will wear clothes inspired by them. Some wear the same clothes even if they aren’t from the same culture. The debate over cultural appropriation and culture appreciation is still a hot topic. 

In this essay, you may start with the traditions of your community or observances your family celebrates and gathers for. Then, elaborate on their origins and describe how your community or family is preserving these practices. 

Learning about your roots, ancestors, and family cultures can help strengthen your understanding of your identity and foster respect for other cultures. Explore this topic and offer examples of what others have learned. Has the journey always been a positive experience? Delve into this question for an engaging and interesting essay.

When a person moves country, it can be challenging to adapt to a new culture. If there are new people at work or school, you can interview them and ask how they are coping with their new environment. How different is this from what they have been used to, and what unique traditions do they find interesting?

Focus on an art piece that is a source of pride and identity to your country’s culture, much like the Tinikling of the Philippines or the Matryoshka dolls of Russia. Explore its origins and evolution up to its current manifestation and highlight efforts that are striving to protect and promote these artistic works.

The older generation did not have computers in their teen years. Ask about how they dated in their younger years and how they made friends. Contrast how the younger generation is building their social networks today. Write what culture of socialization works better for you and explain why.

Take in-depth navigation of existing policies that protect indigenous peoples. Are they sufficient to serve these communities needs, and are they being implemented effectively? There is also the challenge of balancing the protection of these traditions against the need to protect the environment, as some indigenous practices add to the carbon footprint. How is your government dealing with this challenge?

A large population is now riding the Hallyu or the Korean pop culture, with many falling in love with the artists and Korea’s food, language, and traditional events. Research how certain Korean films, TV series, or music have effectively attracted fans to experience Korea’s culture. Write about what countries can learn from Korea in promoting their own cultures.

Environments that embrace cultural diversity are productive and innovative. To start your essay, assess how diverse your workplace or school is. Then, write your personal experiences where working with co-workers or classmates from different cultures led to new and innovative ideas and projects. Combine this with the personal experiences of your boss or the principal to see how your environment benefits from hosting a melting pot of cultures.

If you aim for your article to effectively change readers’ perspectives and align with your opinion, read our guide to achieving persuasive writing . 

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  • How to Write a Diversity Essay | Tips & Examples

How to Write a Diversity Essay | Tips & Examples

Published on November 1, 2021 by Kirsten Courault . Revised on May 31, 2023.

Table of contents

What is a diversity essay, identify how you will enrich the campus community, share stories about your lived experience, explain how your background or identity has affected your life, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about college application essays.

Diversity essays ask students to highlight an important aspect of their identity, background, culture, experience, viewpoints, beliefs, skills, passions, goals, etc.

Diversity essays can come in many forms. Some scholarships are offered specifically for students who come from an underrepresented background or identity in higher education. At highly competitive schools, supplemental diversity essays require students to address how they will enhance the student body with a unique perspective, identity, or background.

In the Common Application and applications for several other colleges, some main essay prompts ask about how your background, identity, or experience has affected you.

Why schools want a diversity essay

Many universities believe a student body representing different perspectives, beliefs, identities, and backgrounds will enhance the campus learning and community experience.

Admissions officers are interested in hearing about how your unique background, identity, beliefs, culture, or characteristics will enrich the campus community.

Through the diversity essay, admissions officers want students to articulate the following:

  • What makes them different from other applicants
  • Stories related to their background, identity, or experience
  • How their unique lived experience has affected their outlook, activities, and goals

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

Think about what aspects of your identity or background make you unique, and choose one that has significantly impacted your life.

For some students, it may be easy to identify what sets them apart from their peers. But if you’re having trouble identifying what makes you different from other applicants, consider your life from an outsider’s perspective. Don’t presume your lived experiences are normal or boring just because you’re used to them.

Some examples of identities or experiences that you might write about include the following:

  • Race/ethnicity
  • Gender identity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Nationality
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Immigration background
  • Religion/belief system
  • Place of residence
  • Family circumstances
  • Extracurricular activities related to diversity

Include vulnerable, authentic stories about your lived experiences. Maintain focus on your experience rather than going into too much detail comparing yourself to others or describing their experiences.

Keep the focus on you

Tell a story about how your background, identity, or experience has impacted you. While you can briefly mention another person’s experience to provide context, be sure to keep the essay focused on you. Admissions officers are mostly interested in learning about your lived experience, not anyone else’s.

When I was a baby, my grandmother took me in, even though that meant postponing her retirement and continuing to work full-time at the local hairdresser. Even working every shift she could, she never missed a single school play or soccer game.

She and I had a really special bond, even creating our own special language to leave each other secret notes and messages. She always pushed me to succeed in school, and celebrated every academic achievement like it was worthy of a Nobel Prize. Every month, any leftover tip money she received at work went to a special 509 savings plan for my college education.

When I was in the 10th grade, my grandmother was diagnosed with ALS. We didn’t have health insurance, and what began with quitting soccer eventually led to dropping out of school as her condition worsened. In between her doctor’s appointments, keeping the house tidy, and keeping her comfortable, I took advantage of those few free moments to study for the GED.

In school pictures at Raleigh Elementary School, you could immediately spot me as “that Asian girl.” At lunch, I used to bring leftover fun see noodles, but after my classmates remarked how they smelled disgusting, I begged my mom to make a “regular” lunch of sliced bread, mayonnaise, and deli meat.

Although born and raised in North Carolina, I felt a cultural obligation to learn my “mother tongue” and reconnect with my “homeland.” After two years of all-day Saturday Chinese school, I finally visited Beijing for the first time, expecting I would finally belong. While my face initially assured locals of my Chinese identity, the moment I spoke, my cover was blown. My Chinese was littered with tonal errors, and I was instantly labeled as an “ABC,” American-born Chinese.

I felt culturally homeless.

Speak from your own experience

Highlight your actions, difficulties, and feelings rather than comparing yourself to others. While it may be tempting to write about how you have been more or less fortunate than those around you, keep the focus on you and your unique experiences, as shown below.

I began to despair when the FAFSA website once again filled with red error messages.

I had been at the local library for hours and hadn’t even been able to finish the form, much less the other to-do items for my application.

I am the first person in my family to even consider going to college. My parents work two jobs each, but even then, it’s sometimes very hard to make ends meet. Rather than playing soccer or competing in speech and debate, I help my family by taking care of my younger siblings after school and on the weekends.

“We only speak one language here. Speak proper English!” roared a store owner when I had attempted to buy bread and accidentally used the wrong preposition.

In middle school, I had relentlessly studied English grammar textbooks and received the highest marks.

Leaving Seoul was hard, but living in West Orange, New Jersey was much harder一especially navigating everyday communication with Americans.

After sharing relevant personal stories, make sure to provide insight into how your lived experience has influenced your perspective, activities, and goals. You should also explain how your background led you to apply to this university and why you’re a good fit.

Include your outlook, actions, and goals

Conclude your essay with an insight about how your background or identity has affected your outlook, actions, and goals. You should include specific actions and activities that you have done as a result of your insight.

One night, before the midnight premiere of Avengers: Endgame , I stopped by my best friend Maria’s house. Her mother prepared tamales, churros, and Mexican hot chocolate, packing them all neatly in an Igloo lunch box. As we sat in the line snaking around the AMC theater, I thought back to when Maria and I took salsa classes together and when we belted out Selena’s “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” at karaoke. In that moment, as I munched on a chicken tamale, I realized how much I admired the beauty, complexity, and joy in Maria’s culture but had suppressed and devalued my own.

The following semester, I joined Model UN. Since then, I have learned how to proudly represent other countries and have gained cultural perspectives other than my own. I now understand that all cultures, including my own, are equal. I still struggle with small triggers, like when I go through airport security and feel a suspicious glance toward me, or when I feel self-conscious for bringing kabsa to school lunch. But in the future, I hope to study and work in international relations to continue learning about other cultures and impart a positive impression of Saudi culture to the world.

The smell of the early morning dew and the welcoming whinnies of my family’s horses are some of my most treasured childhood memories. To this day, our farm remains so rural that we do not have broadband access, and we’re too far away from the closest town for the postal service to reach us.

Going to school regularly was always a struggle: between the unceasing demands of the farm and our lack of connectivity, it was hard to keep up with my studies. Despite being a voracious reader, avid amateur chemist, and active participant in the classroom, emergencies and unforeseen events at the farm meant that I had a lot of unexcused absences.

Although it had challenges, my upbringing taught me resilience, the value of hard work, and the importance of family. Staying up all night to watch a foal being born, successfully saving the animals from a minor fire, and finding ways to soothe a nervous mare afraid of thunder have led to an unbreakable family bond.

Our farm is my family’s birthright and our livelihood, and I am eager to learn how to ensure the farm’s financial and technological success for future generations. In college, I am looking forward to joining a chapter of Future Farmers of America and studying agricultural business to carry my family’s legacy forward.

Tailor your answer to the university

After explaining how your identity or background will enrich the university’s existing student body, you can mention the university organizations, groups, or courses in which you’re interested.

Maybe a larger public school setting will allow you to broaden your community, or a small liberal arts college has a specialized program that will give you space to discover your voice and identity. Perhaps this particular university has an active affinity group you’d like to join.

Demonstrating how a university’s specific programs or clubs are relevant to you can show that you’ve done your research and would be a great addition to the university.

At the University of Michigan Engineering, I want to study engineering not only to emulate my mother’s achievements and strength, but also to forge my own path as an engineer with disabilities. I appreciate the University of Michigan’s long-standing dedication to supporting students with disabilities in ways ranging from accessible housing to assistive technology. At the University of Michigan Engineering, I want to receive a top-notch education and use it to inspire others to strive for their best, regardless of their circumstances.

If you want to know more about academic writing , effective communication , or parts of speech , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

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In addition to your main college essay , some schools and scholarships may ask for a supplementary essay focused on an aspect of your identity or background. This is sometimes called a diversity essay .

Many universities believe a student body composed of different perspectives, beliefs, identities, and backgrounds will enhance the campus learning and community experience.

Admissions officers are interested in hearing about how your unique background, identity, beliefs, culture, or characteristics will enrich the campus community, which is why they assign a diversity essay .

To write an effective diversity essay , include vulnerable, authentic stories about your unique identity, background, or perspective. Provide insight into how your lived experience has influenced your outlook, activities, and goals. If relevant, you should also mention how your background has led you to apply for this university and why you’re a good fit.

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Issue 1: the long history of globalization and cultural interactions, issue 2: the legacy of methodological nationalism, issue 3: the overly complex and easily contested concept of culture, issue 4: values as systems and imprints, issue 5: the triad of identity, memory, and heritage, issue 6: culture and the economy, issue 7: cultural policy and soft power, cultures, values, and identities: what are the issues.

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Helmut K. Anheier; Cultures, Values, and Identities: What Are the Issues?. Global Perspectives 11 May 2020; 1 (1): 11755. doi:

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This article reviews the state of the social sciences with respect to the study of culture and cultures. It also examines the closely related concepts of values and identities. It does not attempt to be comprehensive—a task that would be daunting given the diverse and rich literatures that quickly come into focus. Rather, the purpose is to highlight a limited number of issues central to moving an international, comparative, and interdisciplinary agenda forward, in the hope that Global Perspectives will become a recognized and central address for current and future research in this field.

Even limiting oneself to key issues is no easy task, as various disciplines regard culture as their terrain. Anthropology, economics, political science, sociology, history, and the humanities, including cultural studies and the arts themselves, all lay some claim to the topic. Diverse and dispersed literatures complicate matters. Frequently divided by methodology and a split between quantitative and qualitative approaches, disciplines function too much as closely guarded silos, discouraging inter- and transdisciplinary dialogue of the kind that Global Perspectives encourages.

Moreover, there are strikingly contrasting presuppositions within the social sciences toward culture: Too often, culture is treated as a residual once the “hard” economic, political, and sociological factors are considered. Alternatively, it can become the all-encompassing construct that supposedly explains everything. Similarly, culture is seen as something that either prohibits or accelerates progress, or it becomes a politically innocent reference category to paint over increasingly absent shared values and common narratives.

There are also deeply rooted clashes of national cultural interest that have been set in motion as globalization has advanced. Is the world moving toward cultural uniformity or toward tensions and conflicts? Or are there signs of an alternative set of outcomes rooted in a more polycentric system of cultures in terms of meaning and identity, production or consumption? What is the meaning and validity of a Western or an Asian “cultural imperialism” thesis, or a “clash of civilizations” between East and West?

In contemporary society, there is a deepening intersection between the economic and the cultural, as Singh (2011, 2017) demonstrated in his analysis of globalized art markets and North-South trade relations. The media presents one dramatic illustration of this intersection: that is, commercially produced cultural artifacts. At the same time, culture has come to be seen as an instrument of economic development and urban revitalization—a view encapsulated in terms like creative class, creative cities, and the creative economy.

Yet culture is also about the arts. Notions of l’art pour l’art, or “art for art’s sake,” in the sense that culture is first and foremost about creative expression, are challenged by the deepening intersection of culture with economics and politics. Interpretative frames for what counts as art, what can be regarded as cultural innovations, and who “owns” or represents art imply many changes for how works of art are appreciated, collected, presented, bought and sold, and preserved.

The concepts of culture, value, and identity are as intricate and multifaceted as their relationships are to each other. Anheier and Isar (2007, 3) write in their introduction to the five-volume Cultures and Globalization Series “that globalization has a profound impact on culture, and that cultures shape globalization may seem like a truism. Yet the two-way interaction involves some of the most vexed and at the same time taken-for-granted questions of our time.” This interaction challenges previously more stable cultural systems, forms of everyday life, and identities, and it does so in very uneven and diverse ways. The triangle of collective heritage, identity, and memory, long assumed a foundation of societies, has become uncertain and is being transformed (Anheier and Isar 2011) .

Globalization is both a process and an outcome that involves economic supply and distribution chains, financial flows and investments, international law and institutions, and communication and mobility. Castells (1996, 1997) uses the apt imagery of “decentralized concentration” to describe this phenomenon. He argues that a multiplicity of interconnected tasks that take place in different sites results in people and organizations forming a metanetwork at the transnational level. Held (2002) argues that the 1990s globalization spurt reached an extensity and intensity that went beyond previous phases, and with greater impact on different cultures and societies.

Globalization evolved over time and continues to change, as Baldwin (2019) demonstrates. The “old” globalization, driven by the Industrial Revolution, involved two phases: from the early nineteenth century to the start of World War I, and from World War II to the fall of the Soviet Union. The “new” globalization had a first phase, fueled by financial deregulation, transnational supply chains, and information technologies, and lasted until the global financial crisis of 2008–9. It was in this phase that countries outside the northern industrial sphere—namely, China and other Asian countries—joined the globalized core. The second phase, still emerging, is based on digitization and is likely to expand the extensity and intensity of global networks further.

Each globalization phase brought societies into contact with each other, be it through trade, colonization, proselytizing religions, or domination. It was often an unequal contact. Not all cultures survived, as some merged and new ones emerged. The important point is that for centuries, most of the world’s cultures have been in contact in some form or another, and increasingly so over time. They have been in contact ,and continue to be, in a context characterized by mutual understandings and misunderstandings, cooperation and conflict, domination and submission, and affection and aversion. The current globalization phase, given its reach and impact, certainly adds another layer to the complex web of intra- and intercultural relations, bringing about value changes and challenges to collective and individual identities.

Globalization can retreat, as it did after the Great Depression; it can accelerate and slow down, as it did before and after the 2008–9 global financial crisis. To put it another way, since about 1820, the world has known only a few episodes of “non-globalization.” This means that the world’s diverse cultures, peoples’ values, and their identities have been exposed to the “other,” as have collective memory, cultural heritage, and forms of cultural expression. Cultures past and present are the co-production of “domestic” content and developments and exposures to (and interactions with) other societies and their respective cultures.

Therefore, the first issue is to get a better historical understanding of how cultures interacted in the context of globalization phases, what the drivers of cultural flows were, and how values and identities changed over time. Historical perspectives are as important as contemporary analyses.

Envisioning cultures, values, and identities as the product of past exposures and interactions also means that the notion of national cultures and national society is historically highly questionable. Yet the social sciences, which emerged during the end of the “old” globalization phase—when the nation-state was naturalized—engaged in an epistemological framing of cultures, values, and identities close to the notion of the nation-state. This framing was sometimes explicit: an early example is Aaron’s influential book on German sociology (1935); much later examples include Lipset’s American Exceptionalism (1996) or Huntington’s Who Are We? (2004). But mostly the framing was implicit, almost taken for granted in the sense that students of the social sciences in the United States read and studied American society just as the British or the French did theirs. For a long time, anthropology developed along a different path, with its emphasis on the “other”—that is, non-Western, nonstate societies and cultures.

The nation-state framing is still dominant today, referred to as methodological nationalism. This term refers to the intellectual orientation fortified within each social science discipline that treats the nation-state as the primary unit of analysis and the primary reference point, ascribing agency to it as the given container for social processes. For Wimmer and Schiller (2002), methodological nationalism is built on the assumption that the nation-state is the seemingly natural social and political form of the modern world.

The implied reification of nation-states as actors sui generis in a transnational cultural space can be very misleading. For example, the United States does not “act” in a cultural sense, organizations and people do. It is US corporations like Microsoft, Facebook, Google, or the Walt Disney Company, missionary societies, art museums, and the people who work there that act, as do artists, activists, and robots. Of course, the nation-state plays an important role, but when studying culture in a globalizing and changing world, it cannot be the assumed primary unit of analysis (see Anheier 2007, 336). The upshot is that the social sciences have to overcome the twentieth-century legacy of methodological nationalism if we want to get a fuller understanding of culture, cultural flows, and developments.

Most definitions are neither true nor false; they are ultimately judged by their fruitfulness in advancing our understanding of a phenomenon. Following Deutsch (1963), a fruitful definition must be parsimonious and focus on the truly critical characteristics of the phenomenon. It also must have organizing power in the sense that it helps to establish relations with other concepts and adds value overall. Parsimony and added value, however, never seemed to have much currency among students of culture, who proudly point to the many attempts to define what culture is, and they reference Kroeber and Kluckhohn, who identified 281 definitions in their 1952 book  Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions. Kroeber and Kluckhohn then organized these diverse concepts of culture into eight categories, including topical (the cultural economy), historical (heritage, tradition), behavioral (learned human behavior, a way of life), normative (values, norms), mental (ideas), and structural (symbols).

Yet none of these categorizations, or others that followed, made much progress in bringing greater clarity in terms of parsimony and value added. The classical nineteenth-century definition of culture by anthropologist E. B. Tylor is still being referenced (“that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired” (Tylor 1920, 1). The same is true of UNESCO’s definition of culture in the Preamble to the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity as the “set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual, and emotional features of society or a social group… it encompasses, in addition to art and literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions and beliefs.”

In the face of such general statements, most analysts define culture in a broad and a narrow sense. Broadly, culture is a system of meaning, its social construction, articulation, and reception, including religion, ideologies, value systems, and collective identity. More narrowly, it refers to the arts—that is, what artists create and what is regarded, preserved, exchanged, and consumed as cultural artifacts. Straddling both notions are concepts such as cultural diversity, cultural expression, and the creative or cultural economy.

So it is no wonder that in his seminal Keywords, Raymond Williams (1976) famously stated that culture is one of the most complex words in the English language. The same statement could be made today. Why are we holding on to an imprecise term, especially as it is being deeply implicated in diverse and contested disciplinary discourses in the social sciences today? Yet the word does hold some meaning. Appadurai (1996) and Crawford (2007), among others, have observed how culture is being mobilized in a politics of recognition and representations. The divisive debates about migration worldwide and fundamentalist reassertions in all major world religions are just two examples that show the instrumentalization of culture. Achieving greater clarity and precision in terms of definition and classifications is a major challenge ahead.

Like culture, the concept of values carries different meanings and is used rather loosely. For individuals, values act as an internal moral compass and are “evaluative beliefs that synthesize affective and cognitive elements to orient people to the world in which they live” (Marini 2000, 2828; see also Hitlin and Piliavin 2004, 360). Values typically form a value system as a relatively consistent orienting framework. Ideologies are relatively constant sets of beliefs that explain the world, usually in terms of cause-and-effect relationships.

Even though values are unobservable directly and often conflated with other phenomena such as norms or attitudes, much progress has been made in recent decades to measure value systems cross-nationally and over time. The most prominent effort to do so is the World Values Survey ( ). The resulting Inglehart-Welzel Cultural Map plots countries along two major dimensions: traditional versus secular values and survival versus self-expression. Of course, here we encounter the unit-of-analysis problem we confronted above, and innovative approaches are needed to show how and when what values matter, change, and the like.

Yet who has agency in such maps? They offer useful markers and reveal persistent patterns as well as shifts over time. But a larger question looms regarding how the values they present are produced and reproduced. Of course, psychology and sociology have answers, mostly at the micro level, through socialization processes. Emphasizing the link between value systems and ideologies, social institutions and organizations, and groups and individuals, however, could offer one way forward to accommodate agency. We live in societies made up of institutions and organizations, as Perrow (1986) pointed out long ago, and as North et al. (2009) pointed out: institutions are the rules of the game and hence the embodiment of value systems, whereas organizations are the tools of enactment.

In sociology, Stinchcombe (1965) introduced the concept of “imprinting,” whereby the institutional conditions prevalent in the founding environments of organizations continue to have lasting effects on organizational culture and behavior. Following up on this suggestion, Marquis and Tilcsik (2013) use the term “value imprinting” to describe how the values of founders or equivalents implicitly or explicitly shape the organization and its culture. With a focus on organizational culture and values, including professional value systems, one could at least partially circumvent the limitations of methodological nationalism. This focus would link organizational and management studies to the study of cultural values, and the history of business to the history of values and ideologies.

Such an approach could rekindle the kind of macro-meso-micro studies that characterize some of the seminal works on the interplay between value systems, institutions, and organizations and individuals. Max Weber’s ([1904] 2016) The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism is a study of the interaction between religion and economic behavior. In response to Marx, Weber argues that the world of ideas has its own logic, independent of material interests and property relations. In Elias’s (1997) seminal work on the process of civilization, he analyzes behavioral transformation in the sixteenth century as a reaction to demands for greater political and communicative stability as commerce expanded. Bourdieu’s (1979) analysis of the French class structure and the link between culture and habitus is also a particularly illuminating work. We need more such studies.

Sociologically, identity is a person’s learned notion of self, combined with a sense of belonging expressed and experienced through values, ethnicity, language, nationality, locale, and the like, and is closely related to a sense of “we-ness.” There is a striking disconnect in research on identity: empirical studies based on population surveys show that identities are remarkably stable over time, as the European Commission (2012) found when it summarized the results of several large-scale research projects on the relationship between regional, national, and European identities. Hoelscher and Anheier (2011, 364–86) reviewed different facets of identity (geographical, cyber, citizenship, cultural, economic, and religious) and reached a similar conclusion.

This stability contrasts with two other strands of inquiry: the nuanced debate about the relationship between identity, collective memory, and heritage, on the one hand, and the vehemence of the political meaning of the term (in particular regarding identity politics), on the other. As to the first, Isar et al. (2011) suggest that in the process of globalization, the “triangle” of identity, heritage, and memory has become more unstable and, in some parts of the world, even unhinged. Contradictory developments are taking place: there is a trend whereby cultural heritage assumes a “museal sensibility” (Huyssen 1995, 14) , supported by international conventions (Isar 2011, 39--52) and by a cultural heritage industry (Winter 2011) . There are also powerful economic forces that undermine cultural heritage by eliminating entire peasant cultures and traditional crafts and skills.

The “cult of heritage” comes with a certain “memory boom,” as Isar et al. (2011, 5) put it. Collective memory is “remembrance of the past grounded on more durable carriers of external symbols and representations” (Assmann 2008, 55) . It is an archival memory constructed through a discourse that relies heavily on media institutions and communication (Huyssen 1995, 6) . This memory discourse makes it vulnerable to political and cultural entrepreneurs, and Assmann (2008, 54) calls for “critical vigilance and develop[ing] criteria for probing the quality of the memory constructions, distinguishing more ‘malign’ from more ‘benign’ memories—that is, memories that perpetuate resentment, hatred and violence from those that have a therapeutic and ethical value.”

Yet, irrespective of the quality of collective memories, they are implicated in how we think about identity and how identity politics comes about. The cultural responses to globalization open opportunities for groups and individuals to deploy the notions and resources of heritage and memory in certifying identity. It is a way of coping with the uncertainties about the “us versus them” attitude that globalization frequently brings with it (Appadurai 2006, 6).

Next to scholarly attention to the nexus of heritage, memory, and identity, there is a highly contested debate that links identity to the fate of Western civilization. Four books illustrate the depth of the disputes. First, Huntington’s 2004 book “ Who Are We?: America’s Great Debate ” explores the nature of American identity, taking issue with the idea that the United States is a “nation of immigrants.” Instead, Huntington observes that the founders were settlers who brought with them the cultural kernels of what became the American creed, a unique creation of a dissenting Protestant culture based on the principles of liberty, equality, individualism, representative government, and private property. He argues that American identity began to erode beginning in the 1960s, as a result of, among other factors, the rise of globalization, explicit political appeals to specific identity groups, and changing immigration patterns.

Contradicting Huntington, particularly his civilization thesis, Sen’s 2006 Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny argues that the false notion of a unique identity sustains conflict and violence. He criticizes “solitarist” theories that ignore shifting and multiple identities. In his view, identity is changing and multifaceted; there is no fixed identity, and people comprise many identities related to ethnicity, nationality, gender, religion, and the like. By better understanding identity, societal rifts can be alleviated, resulting in a more peaceful society and world.

Fukuyama’s 2018 book Identity argues that people have clung to identity as a result of economic and social dislocation—for example, job losses due to globalization, economic crisis, or the relative status decline of white males. This focus on identity results in conflict and political dysfunction. Ultimately, Fukuyama views identity politics as a threat to the foundations of liberal democracy and a distraction from real issues. Focus on identity politics has become a convenient and effective substitute for a more in-depth analysis of how to address the trend toward greater socioeconomic inequality in most liberal democracies.

Appiah’s 2018 The Lies that Bind argues that people and their leaders keep making the same mistakes when it comes to the main Cs of identity: creed (religion as a set of immutable beliefs instead of as mutable practices and communities), country (suggesting a forced choice between globalism and patriotism), color (race is constructed, not biological), class (entitlement and resentment, rather than greater equality of opportunities), and culture. As for the latter, he proposes a greater openness and no longer equating individualism, liberal democracy, tolerance, rationality, and science with Western civilization as such.

Clearly, these and other works make for rich opportunities to debate assumptions; to challenge hypotheses, data, and their analysis; and, above all, to bring better and especially comparative evidence to bear.

The relationship between the economic and the cultural has a long history, from Adam Smith’s moral sentiments, Marx’s dichotomy of structure and superstructure, Thorstein Veblen’s conspicuous consumption, and Baumol and Bowen’s (1966) cost disease theorem to today’s discourse about the creative city and the cultural economy. Cunningham et al. (2008) propose four models for the relationship between the wider and the cultural economy, defined as a system for the production, distribution, and consumption of cultural goods and services through market as well as nonmarket mechanisms, or, in the words of Scott (2008), as all forms of economic activity that produce outputs with significant aesthetic or semiotic content or symbolic outputs.

The negative model assumes that cultural activities are either public or semipublic goods and therefore inherently deficit making. They rely on public subsidies, voluntary contributions, and philanthropy to compensate for lacking revenue. The negative model views the culture economy as a “welfare case.” The competitive model treats it as just “another industry,” yet one with high demand uncertainty and cost disease tendencies. Alternatively, the positive or growth model highlights the capacity of the creative segments of the cultural economy to initiate growth in the aggregate economy. Finally, the emergent or innovation model views culture as an innovation system that infiltrates the entire economy, promoting “creative disruption” to established practices in business and society at large.

These models are propositions well worth exploring, and they provide a frame for Landry’s “creative city” concept (2000, 2012) as well as for Florida’s “creative class” (2005, 2018). For Landry, cultural resources are the raw materials of the city and its value base. He emphasizes both the “hardware” (physical infrastructure) and the “software” (relationships and atmosphere) for designing successful cities. Florida popularized the concept that cities exhibiting a higher level of economic development tend to be those that attract members of the creative class. Florida’s work gained a great degree of attention due to its simple and catchy argumentation and methodology. The “three Ts” (talent, technology, and tolerance) as the key to economic development were supported by especially designed indicators (e.g., a “bohemian index”).

Florida has been criticized (Glaeser 2005; Peck 2005) for elitism by separating the world into “creatives” and “noncreatives.” Methodologically, scholars have challenged Florida’s indices and quantification of causal factors (Glaeser 2005) . The argument that creativity begets growth has been identified as circular. Furthermore, Florida and Landry’s focus on creativity as a path to economic growth has been criticized for operating within “neoliberal” development agendas, framed around interurban competition, gentrification, middle-class consumption, and place marketing (Peck 2005) .

Despite such criticism, there are clearly important insights here, which are also supported by sociologists studying the relationship between innovation and diversity. Globalization creates more diverse networks among people and organizations and generates many more changes for weak-tie configurations to materialize. Exposure to multiple and heterogeneous contacts and circles encourages creativity and opens new opportunities. This is one reason that geographers like Scott (2008) argue that globalization is leading less and less to cultural uniformity. Markedly more polycentric systems of cultural creativity and production are emerging, suggesting that conventional cultural imperialism arguments seem to be losing some of their force. Yet these are propositions in need of further reflections and, especially, empirical tests to find out if the world is indeed becoming more diverse, even eclectic, in its modes of cultural production and consumption.

Central here is the role of the artist as creator. Within the Western canon, the cult of the artist as the “seer,” the genius who is both inside (and understands) and outside (and questions) a given community or society, is still strong, stemming from Enlightenment notions of individual achievements. Yet how does this notion of the artist, which ties creativity to individuality, fit into the globalized opportunity structure? Will the precarious economic position of many artists change? How can it match non-Western constructions (e.g., of art as expressions of communal creativity and imprinting), and how can it relate to the concept of art whose recognition and legitimacy enhances rather than breaks traditions? Do global art markets, and the speculation that increasingly drives them, favor Western notions over others, or play on some sort of speculative arbitrage? Likewise, are major art exhibitions like Documenta, Frieze, or Art Basel mostly about market making or about art appreciation, or perhaps both?

The final issue is that of cultural policy and the role of governments and international organizations like UNESCO, the Council of Europe, and increasingly also the European Union. Traditionally, the main purpose of cultural policy was to support the arts and appreciation thereof, as well as heritage. In recent years, the creative economy has become a new focus, as have the issues of creativity and innovation more generally. These trends are in line with the fourth model that Cunningham et al. (2008) propose.

Yet countries differ widely with respect to how broadly and in what manner they engage with culture and the arts. The United States shows a very limited involvement throughout, and most activities are at the local and state levels. Other efforts are largely left to private philanthropy and nonprofit organizations. By contrast, cultural policy in France is very much a matter of the central government and public budgets, whereas in Germany a decentralized system prevails that mixes public and private funds under a pattern of cooperative cultural federalism. The United Kingdom is somewhere in between, using arm’s-length institutions with a growing focus on the cultural or creative economy.

The outcomes of different policy approaches are also different dynamics and possibilities for artistic potential, creativity, and economic growth in terms of the models Cunningham et al. (2008) have outlined. It remains an open question how emerging market economies and autocratic regimes position themselves in this triad of cultural policy options (a minimal role of government, a pronounced and centralized role, and a devolved one). Most likely, forms of control will be a critical element, putting cultural policy under state tutelage.

Finally, cultural policy is also foreign policy in the context of soft power and cultural diplomacy. Hard power refers to military power and coercive capacity in terms of deterrence and potential for inflicting violence (Nye 2004) . By contrast, soft power is the ability to persuade others to do what a country wants without relying on force or coercion. Soft power is based on attraction, created by a country’s policies and political ideas. Cultural policy as a tool of soft power is becoming more relevant in a geopolitical sense. Language programs, student exchanges, book tours, exhibitions, and media are examples of the ways in which countries use external cultural policy to wield soft power abroad. With the partial retreat of the United States from cultural diplomacy, countries as different as France, China, Russia, Qatar, and Turkey have taken increasingly prominent positions in this field. With substantial investments, they combine cultural and economic—and increasingly also security-related—objectives. Again, this avenue of study is a wide-open field for research.

Author Biography

Helmut K Anheier (PhD Yale) is editor-in-chief of Global Perspectives , professor of sociology at the Hertie School, member of the faculty of the Luskin School of Public Affairs, and visiting professor at LSE Ideas. He has published widely in the social sciences with an emphasis in civil society, organization, and governance, and received several national and international awards for his academic achievements. Previously, he was president of the Hertie School, and professor at the Max-Weber-Institute of Sociology at Heidelberg University, where he directed the Center for Social Investment and Innovation. Before embarking on an academic career, he served the United Nations as a social affairs officer.

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How to Write a Cultural Identity Essay With Tips and Examples

11 December 2023

last updated

Writing a cultural identity essay is an exciting academic exercise that allows students to develop and utilize critical thinking, reflective, and analytical skills. Unlike a standard essay, this type of paper requires learners to use first-person language throughout. In essence, a cultural identity essay is about writers and what makes them identify with a particular cultural orientation. When writing a cultural identity essay, authors should choose a specific identity and focus on it throughout their texts. Moreover, they should reflect and brainstorm, use the “show, not tell” method, utilize transitions to create a natural flow, and proofread their papers to eliminate mistakes and errors. Hence, students need to learn how to write a cultural identity essay to provide high-quality papers to their readers.

Definition of a Cultural Identity Essay

Students undertake different writing exercises in the learning environment to develop their critical thinking, reflective, and analytical skills. Basically, one of these exercises is academic writing , and among different types of essays that students write is a cultural identity essay. In this case, it is a type of essay where authors write about their culture, which entails exploring and explaining the significance of their cultural identity. Moreover, there are numerous topics that instructors may require students to write about in a cultural identity essay. For example, some of these essay topics fall under different disciplines, such as religion, socio-economic status, family, education, ethnicity, and business. In essence, the defining features of a cultural identity essay are what aspects make authors know that they are writing in this type of essay. In turn, these features include language, nationality, gender, history, upbringing, and religion, among many others.

How to write a cultural identity essay

Differences Between a Cultural Identity Essay and Other Papers

Generally, a cultural identity essay is similar to a standard essay regarding an essay structure and an essay outline . However, the point of difference is the topic. While standard essays, such as argumentative, persuasive, and informative essays, require learners to use third-person language, such a paper requires them to use first-person language. In this case, when writing a cultural identity essay, authors should use the word “I” throughout to show the audience that they are writing from their perspective. Indeed, this aspect is the primary objective of a cultural identity essay – to give the writer’s perspective concerning their culture. Besides, another point of difference between a cultural identity essay and other papers is that the former does not require writers to utilize external sources but to write from a personal viewpoint.

List of Possible Examples of Cultural Identity Essay Topics

1. cultural identity and socialization in a learning environment.

Here, a cultural identity essay prompt may require students to discuss the significance of culture in education, focusing on cultural identity and socialization. As such, this topic requires writers to reflect on how culture influences behavior in a learning environment.

2. The Impact of Culture Change on Family

Here, this prompt may require students to explore and discuss how culture impacts a family unit. Moreover, the theme is a family, and the students’ mission would be to explain how culture in all its dynamics affects families in diverse settings.

3. The Role of Language in Building a Cultural Identity

Here, instructions may require students to explore and explain the significance of language in cultural identity. Hence, writers should focus on explaining the place of culture in the sociology discipline, focusing on the connection between language and cultural identity.

4. The Significance of Culture in a Globalized Economy

Here, a cultural identity essay topic may require students to explore and discuss how culture affects individuals and businesses in today’s connected world. Also, the students’ task would be to explain how culture, in all its dynamics, such as language, is essential in business for individuals and enterprises.

5. How Culture Influences Relations in the Workplace

Here, an essay prompt may require students to explore and explain how culture, in all its dynamics, affects or influences social relations at the workplace. In turn, the task of writers, for example, would be to focus on how Human Resource (HR) departments can use culture to enrich workplace relations.

6. The Place of Culture in Individuals’ Self-Concept

Here, an analysis of a theme may require students to reflect on how their cultural orientation has affected their self-concept. Moreover, the student’s task would be to discuss how culture and its dynamics enable individuals to build a strong or weak understanding of themselves.

7. The Importance of Cultural Orientation in a Multicultural Environment

Here, assignment instructions may require students to explore and discuss how their cultural orientation enables them to operate in a culturally diverse environment, such as a school or workplace. In this case, the student’s task would be to explain how cultural characteristics, such as language and religion, facilitate or hamper social competency in a multicultural setting. 

8. How Global Conflicts Disturb Cultural Identity for Refugees

Here, this example of a cultural identity topic may require students to explore and explain how conflicts in today’s world, such as civil unrest, affect the cultural identity of those who flee to foreign countries. Also, the student’s task would be to explain how one’s culture is affected in a new environment with totally different cultural dynamics.

9. The Challenges of Acculturation

Here, a cultural identity essay prompt may require students to explore and explain the challenges that individuals face in identifying with the dominant culture. In particular, the student’s task would be to explain the significance of the dominant culture and what those from other cultures that try to identify with it must confront.

10. Host Country Culture and Multinational Enterprises

Here, this prompt sample may require students to explore and explain how a host country’s culture affects expatriates working for multinational corporations. Besides, the students’ task would be to show how one’s culture defines their behaviors and how that can be affected in a new environment with new cultural characteristics.

11. Compare and Contrast Native Culture and Dominant Culture in the United States

Here, such instructions require students to explain specific areas of similarity and difference between the Native culture and the dominant culture. In turn, the students’ task would be to define the Native culture and the dominant culture and help the audience to understand whether they mean the same thing. Hence, whether they do or do not, students should elaborate.

12. The Objective of Acculturation

Here, this example of a cultural identity essay topic requires students to explore and explain why people prefer to identify with the dominant culture. Moreover, the students’ task would be to note the advantages of the dominant culture over others and the opportunities that one may access to identify with this dominant culture.

13. The Challenges That the LGBTQ Community Faces in the Modern World

Here, essay prompt instructions require students to explore and discuss the challenges that lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender people face in their normal day-to-day activities. In this case, the students’ task would be to explain the uniqueness of the LGBTQ community and how stereotyping makes their lives miserable in an environment where people are intolerant of different personalities and viewpoints.

14. Dangers of Cultural Intolerance in the Health Care System

Here, instructions may require students to explore and discuss how nurses that are intolerant to cultural differences may jeopardize patients’ lives.

15. Advantages and Disadvantages of Acculturation

Here, a cultural identity essay prompt requires students to discuss the pros and cons of identifying with the dominant culture.

How Students Know if They Write a Cultural Identity Essay

The defining features of a cultural identity essay give students the indication that they need to write this kind of essay. Basically, when learners read instructions regarding their essay topics they need to write about, they should identify one or several defining elements. In turn, these elements include language, nationality, religion, ethnicity, and gender.

Structure of a Cultural Identity Essay

As stated previously, the primary point of similarity between a cultural identity essay and standard papers is an essay structure and an essay outline. Basically, this structure and outline comprise of three main sections: introduction, body, and conclusion. Like in all other essays, writing a cultural identity essay requires students to address specific issues, which are, in essence, the defining characteristics of the essay’s structure and outline.

I. Introduction and Its Defining Characteristics

The introduction is the first paragraph of a cultural identity essay. Here, students introduce themselves to the audience, giving a brief background of their cultural identity. Moreover, rules of academic writing dictate that this part should not exceed 10 percent of the entire paper. In this case, writers should be brief and concise. Then, the most prominent component of this section is a thesis, a statement that appears at the end of an introduction paragraph and whose objective is to indicate the writer’s mission. In summary, the introduction part’s defining features are the writer’s background and thesis statement . In turn, the former gives a hint about a writer, and the latter provides the audience with insight into the writer’s objective in writing a cultural identity essay.

The body of a cultural identity essay is the most significant section of a paper and takes the largest part. Generally, writers use several paragraphs to advance different arguments to explain specific concepts. In a cultural identity essay, writers can use different paragraphs to explain important aspects of their cultural identity. Nonetheless, what determines the number of paragraphs and the content of each is a paper topic. Also, the most prominent defining features of a cultural identity essay’s body are paragraphs, with each advancing a unique concept about the writer’s cultural identity. In turn, paragraphs are where writers provide real-life experiences and other personal anecdotes that help the audience to develop a deeper understanding of authors from a cultural perspective.

III. Conclusion

The conclusion part is the last section of a cultural identity essay. In particular, writers restate a thesis statement and summarize the main points from body paragraphs. Moreover, authors provide concluding remarks about a topic, which is mostly an objective personal opinion. In summary, the conclusion part’s defining features are a restatement of a thesis, a summary of the main points, and the writer’s final thoughts about a topic.

Outline Template for a Cultural Identity Essay

I. Introduction

A. Hook statement/sentence. B. Background information. C. A thesis statement that covers the main ideas from 1 to X in one sentence.

II. Body Paragraphs

A. Idea 1 B. Idea 2 … X. Idea X

A. Restating a thesis statement. B. Summary of the main points from A to X. C. Final thoughts.

An Example of a Cultural Identity Essay

Topic: Identifying as a Naturalist

I. Introduction Sample in a Cultural Identity Essay

The period of birth marks the beginning of one’s identity, with culture playing a significant role. However, from the stage of adolescence going forward, individuals begin to recognize and understand their cultural makeup. In my case, I have come to discover my love for nature, an aspect that I believe has made me a naturalist both in belief and action.

II. Examples of Body Paragraphs in a Cultural Identity Essay

A. idea 1: parents.

Parents play a critical role in shaping the cultural and personal identity of their children. In my case, it is my mother who has instilled in me a love for nature. Although I may not say exactly when this love started, I can only reason that since it was ingrained in me since childhood, it has developed gradually.

B. Idea 2: Naturalism

Today, naturalism defines my interactions with people and the environment. In short, I can say it shapes my worldview. As a lover of nature herself, my mother had this habit of taking me outdoors when I was a toddler. I have seen family photographs of my mother walking through parks and forests holding my hand. What is noticeable in these pictures besides my mother and me is the tree cover that gives the setting such a lovely sight. Moreover, I can now understand why I seem more conversant with the names and species of flowers, trees, and birds than my siblings- my mother was the influence. In turn, my siblings and friends make a joke that I have developed a strong love for nature to the point of identifying myself with the environment. Hence, the basis for this argument is my love for the green color, where even my clothes and toys are mostly green.

III. Conclusion Sample of a Cultural Identity Essay

Naturally, human beings behave in line with their cultural background and orientation. Basically, this behavior is what determines or reflects their cultural identity. In turn, my intense love for nature underscores my naturalist identity. While I may not tell the stage in life when I assumed this identity, I know my mother has played a significant role in shaping it, and this is since childhood.

Summing Up on How to Write a Good Cultural Identity Essay

Like any standard paper, writing a cultural identity essay allows students to build essential skills, such as critical thinking, reflective, and analytical skills. In this case, the essence of a paper is to provide the writer’s cultural identity, background, or orientation. Therefore, in order to learn how to write a good cultural identity essay, students should master the following tips:

  • Decide where to focus. Culture is a broad topic, and deciding what to focus on is essential in producing a cultural identity essay. For example, one may have several cultural identities, and addressing all may lead to inconclusive explanations.
  • Reflect and brainstorm. Given the close link between one’s cultural identity and personal experiences, learners need to reflect on experiences that would provide the audience with an accurate picture of their cultural identity.
  • Adopt the “Show, not tell” approach by providing vivid details about one’s experiences. Using personal anecdotes may be effective in accomplishing this objective.
  • Use transitions , such as “therefore,” “thus,” ” additionally,” and “furthermore,” to enhance a natural and logical flow throughout the essay.
  • Stay personal by using first-person language to describe one’s background and experiences.
  • Proofread a cultural identity essay to eliminate spelling and grammatical mistakes and other notable errors, such as an inconsistent life storyline.

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My Cultural Identity Essay: A Guide to Writing about Who You are

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October 12, 2015

A cultural identity essay is a paper that you write exploring and explaining how your place of upbringing, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status, and family dynamics among other factors created your identity as a person. Even facts such as what activities you took part in as a child can be part of your cultural identity. Your culture identity is ultimately the group of people that you feel that you identify with. The thought process behind this is known as cultural identity theory. To get a better idea of this, take a look at this single paragraph blurb of information that you might see in a culture identity essay. After reading, you can easily  write my paper  and feel comfortable getting grades as high as you can imagine.

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I was born in rural Missouri, but my family moved to St. Louis before I was a year old. My mother is 100 percent Irish and comes from a family that identifies very strongly with Irish culture. My father is Middle Eastern, but was adopted by an English family who moved to the United States when he was 5. We lived in a pretty big house in a subdivision. My parents had two more kids after me, they were both boys as well. My father wasn't religious, but my mom was a practicing Catholic. She went to mass every week. My brothers and I both had first communion and were confirmed, but stopped going to church as teenagers. We weren't really encouraged to play sports because our parents thought we should focus on our studies. They really emphasized math and science. I did well in these classes, but I didn't enjoy them. In high school, I became active in music and theater. Most of my friends were also into that as well. I earned a scholarship to study engineering on the East Coast, but I dropped out as a sophomore. I returned home to study music, needless to say my parents were disappointed. My brothers both pursued careers in technical fields. One is a mechanical engineer and the other is a software engineer. I am close with my family, but we do not have much in common. My circle of friends is fairly varied when it comes to race, ethnicity, religion, and economic background, but it consists almost entirely of people who are artists, musicians, writers, or people involved in those industries.

Keep in mind that your essay may look nothing like this. In our example, the writers choice of career, talents, and interests influenced his cultural identity more than his religious, ethnic background, or family values did. This may not be the case for you. Remember that when you are writing your paper there are no wrong answers. You just have to ask yourself insightful questions and keep the theory of cultural identity in mind as you write. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • How did the foods I ate as a child influence my identity
  • Did I look different from the kids I went to school with? How did that impact me?
  • Did birth order influence who I am as an adult?
  • Does my life today match the life I was raised in?


While being committed to a number of charitable causes, like volunteering at special events or giving free art lessons to children, Marie doesn’t forget her vocation – writing. She can write about almost anything but has focused on time management, motivation, academic and business writing.

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What is a cultural identity essay, and how to write one?

essay on culture identity

Writing an essay is one of the most common assignments that students encounter in colleges and universities. Also, students need to write an essay during their admissions as the academic institution is much interested in knowing more about the student and the background that they come from. One of the essential types of essays in this sphere is a cultural identity essay. But what exactly is cultural identity?

Cultural identity refers to the factors like race, religious background, customs, traditions, etc., followed by a person. It is not only based on belonging to a certain background, but the cultural identity also influences the similarities that students might have with other group members, including habits, customs, beliefs, faith, etc. Now that we are clear with what cultural identity is let us look at how to essay it.

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The structure and goal of a cultural identity essay Like any other personal essay, a cultural identity essay will help you express your personality and demonstrate what kind of a person you are. It should reflect what makes you unique and should effectively demonstrate your strengths and academic potential. A cultural identity essay will also help to encompass your cultural influences and the driving philosophies and beliefs.

It helps the reader understand what makes you focused and unique. For example, when writing on being an Indian, the faith and traditions you grew up with and how they were responsible for shaping your personality should be discussed. Additionally, write about your religious beliefs and everything it entails discussing the prevalent traditions, rituals, and beliefs in your community.

The structure of a cultural identity essay The structure of such an essay follows the basic structure just like any other essay. The length depends on the information you wish to share. Typically, it should be around 5 paragraphs long; however, the length requirement is dependent on the school or university. It is an overview of the major elements of the essay.

  • Introduction: The section should be used to introduce you to the reader. Tell the audience about your cultural background and how it has influenced you into becoming the person you are today. The introduction length is determined by the total length of the essay and should not be more than 10 per cent of the total word count. Ensure not to tell everything in this section and wait until the later sections to reveal more information.
  • Thesis: It is technically the last sentence of the introduction section. However, due to its importance, it should be separated from the other sections. It will prove an argumentative point that you wish to prove and will reflect the purpose of the work. For example, is your focus based on being an African American? Use the thesis to mention it and how it has affected you.
  • Body: The main section of the essay that you would want to use to disclose all the major information about your cultural background. Break it down into proper subsections for better organisation. The body paragraph should not extend more than 5 pages or 1500 words for a cultural identity essay. If your essay is a short one, the body section should have a minimum of one section. Provide logical connections between the different sections of the body paragraphs. Show how different beliefs and cultures have shaped your personality and their influence on you while growing up. Enhance better readability by introducing appropriate opening and closing sentences.
  • Conclusion: Use this section to revise the major points mentioned in the essay and emphasise the thesis to express how it has shaped you while growing up.

Tips for writing an effective cultural identity essay: Here are some tips to keep in mind while writing your cultural identity essay and can be extremely helpful in writing an effective essay.

  • Choosing focus: Before starting the essay, you need to understand your cultural identity and select a topic based on it. Ensure to pick a topic that resonates well with you. The more passionate you are about the topic, the more compelling your essay will be.
  • Brainstorming ideas: Contrary to popular belief, figuring out what has influenced your personality requires a lot of thought. It is an important step that you cannot afford to miss. It will help you list out all the essential aspects of your cultural identity, helping you to outline them when writing the essay properly.
  • Create an outline: Before you start writing, ensure to develop a rough outline to figure out the logical placement of information. It is very useful since it helps you remember every key point that needs to be added to the different sections of the cultural identity essay. Stick to the outline when writing the essay to have a cohesive essay.
  • Describe: Use personal experiences to describe their effects on your personality. It will help the readers to correlate your experiences with your background strongly. When starting a unique ethnic identity, simply stating it is not enough; you will need to provide as many details as you can recall.
  • Use transition words: Transition words help to maintain the logical flow of your essay. Use the proper opening and closing sentences in each paragraph to enhance readability. Use transition words to bridge the gap between your ideas to give them a logical and semantic flow. Do not randomly present facts and instead use a logical sequence. Use different paragraphs to focus on different ideas to make the essay flow smoothly.
  • Stay personal: With cultural identity essays, the main focus is on you and therefore, you need to be as personal as possible to give the best insight into who you are. Do not shy away from expressing personal experiences with the reader to develop a deeper connection.
  • Proofread: Just like any other essay, proofreading is a crucial step that you cannot avoid. Take your time to revise the essay and spot any mistakes with spelling or grammar. Ensure to remove all errors before you submit the essay.

Cultural identity essays: Common points of focus There are several aspects of your cultural background that you can choose to focus on in your essay. For example, you can write about your gender and how it influenced your experiences while growing up. Religion can also be chosen as a point of focus. You can also choose to focus on language and customs that have shaped your growing years, and focusing on language can be a great idea if you speak more than one language. Choose any powerful experience to share in your cultural identity essay.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a cultural identity essay.

A cultural identity essay is a personal statement essay that explores the student’s cultural backgrounds and their effect on their personality.

When do you need to write a cultural identity essay?

Cultural identity essays are an important part of college or university admission processes that help the board understand the candidate’s personality.

What is the basic structure of a cultural identity essay?

Just like other academic essays, a cultural identity essay can be divided into four distinct parts. These include the introduction, thesis, body and conclusion.

How long should the cultural identity essay introduction section be?

The introduction section of a cultural identity essay should be limited to around 10 per cent of the total word count.

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  • Cultural Identity

Essays on Cultural Identity

Your cultural identity essay should include a good full definition, to begin with. Cultural identity essays define it as an individual's belonging to a culture or cultural group, which forms a person's values and attitude towards himself, other people, society, and the world as a whole. Cultural identity in the modern era is greatly influenced by communication technologies, which contribute to the globalization of the cultural environment. According to many essays on cultural identity, the essence of cultural identity lies in the individual's conscious acceptance of certain cultural norms and patterns of behavior, values, and language, in understanding self-identification within the cultural norms of a particular society. Take advantage of our cultural identity essay samples below – only the best samples made the cut!

African Americans: A New World Identity African Americans lack understanding of their native continent of Africa and are unable to identify with Americans, making them a new world identity. Once they arrived in America, they were unable to speak their native tongue and were forced to acquire a new language in...

Self-Identity Self-identity refers to an individual's capacity and potential as it manifests itself most effectively in the social setting of their interactions with other people. Finding one's unique talents entails cutting out the aspects of life that don't contribute to the self-worth of the individual. Sherman uses the example of John-John,...

An individual's assessment of social identity An individual's assessment of who they are based on the types of people they interact with is referred to as their social identity. Interacting with a variety of people helps one develop a feeling of belonging, which develops into the idea of social identity. People...

Words: 1298

The shared feeling of identity among Koryo people The shared feeling of identity among Koryo people sets them apart from other people. For instance, Koryo became well-known thanks to the Myoch ong revolt, which took place in the year 1135. However, the rebellion has encountered a variety of viewpoints...

Due to the fact that they reflect a state s history and identity, cultural properties are of utmost significance. Theft and other illegalities involving art have grown over time as a result of the severe economic downturns in the global market for these goods. The UNESCO convention legal framework was...

Words: 1894

Fulani Ethnic Group and Their Cultural Heritage Fulani, also known as Fula, are a West African ethnic group located primarily in Nigeria, Senegal, Gambia, Mauritania, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Ghana, Togo, and Benin. They can also be found in Central African countries such as...

Words: 1757

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The Luo tribe is primarily found in Kenya, while some have settled in adjacent countries such as Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, Congo, and Ethiopia. einsteinerupload of (Philip et al. 242). They moved 500 years ago and are mostly found around Lake Victoria. The Luo community, like other indigenous communities, has distinct...

Words: 1795

India's ability to have an impact on business and culture around the world is demonstrated by the fact that it has one of the greatest economies in the world. India's political and economic reforms over the years are to thank for its alluring economic and cultural identity. According to statistics,...

Words: 4527

There isn t an Asian American experience that lacks a perspective or even an identity the majority of Asian Americans attending academic high schools certainly have a method of displaying it. In my situation, I ll rely on the perception that Asian pupils are intelligent in the classroom. Some Asian...

Words: 1157

In this piece, Yamanouchi investigates the cultural identity of Sydney's south-western aboriginal population. The places where indigenous people spend the majority of their daily lives and time are referred to in the article as south-western Sydney. The conclusions are drawn by the author using data from a study carried out...

Words: 1027

Cultural identity may take many different forms, and the Korean community is proud of its martial arts prowess. In most of Asia, Taekwondo is revered and actively practiced. This technique has spread throughout the rest of the world, and most educational institutions permit its use. It is easy to comprehend...

Words: 5354

The native Americas consisted of the original settlers of Northeast Asia. Other cultures have struggled to observe and recognize their national identity, and this has contributed to a historic twist and the beginning of modern America. Present America has undergone some serious change from the original native American culture. Many...

Words: 1404

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Cultural Identity Essay Topics 

Cultural identity essay topics may vary due to the wide range of spheres related to the culture, identity formation, and cultural effects. Among the major spheres there may be outlined:

  • Cultural identity in schools
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  • The role of cultural identity in the conversations between students
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  • Cultural identity development in ethnic minority or culture with friends
  • Identity formation in young adulthood
  • Cultural diversity value
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  • Professional communication cultural sensitivity 
  • Self-expression of identity in literature
  • Personal perspective and cultural identity
  • Cultural advances in Islamic world
  • Cultural identity development
  • Racial cultural identity development model
  • Cultural hybridity identity
  • Cultural tourism
  • Cultural understanding of the cultural diversity
  • Cross-cultural health perspective
  • Cultural identity and its role in cultural development
  • Cultural conflict between family and culture
  • Social identity and political intolerance
  • The relation between cultural identity and American revolution
  • Racial stereotypes in America
  • The effects of British colony on the cultural identity of the nation
  • Cultural forms of the term African-American
  • Cultural intelligence in the modern world
  • Cultural modernism
  • Cultural influence on politics
  • Cultural identity and social class
  • Cultural representation of high social class
  • Cultural priorities and workplace design
  • Cultural identity and health equity
  • Cultural perceptions of time in Africa
  • Intersectionality between cultural identities in health industry
  • The linkage between cultural identity and behavioral change

There are a lot of essays with other topics on our platform. Need a  nature vs nurture essay ? Find it and much more in our database any time you wish.

How to Write Cultural Identity Essay 

“My parents told me that my cultural identity is African American. It is reflected in meals, literature, religion, anthropology, behavior, family structure, cinematography, music, art, language, and many other factors. It is a symbolic level. African American life is based on the faith and hope: we express it via music, prayer, and worship. The religion of my family reminds more of the modern United States than African tribes, but it is different from a typical Christianity. I have felt my passion for the humanitarian subjects from the beginning of the educational process. The one subject that people of African American origins stress among the rest is music. Music is the best way to identify one with the particular culture. Various thematical papers and songs have informed the listeners about the deeds & events that took place within African American society. There are many different genres applied to express various emotions. One of my favorite historical episode to describe my ethnical belonging the best was June 19th when the slaves started to celebrate Juneteenth Holiday, which is recognized by the entire country nowadays. It became the African American addendum to the US Independence Day. This holiday reveals the most important attribute of my nationality – love for freedom. Each new year the African American community celebrates this date, it becomes more exciting: the spirit of my ethnical group is flying in the air. I have met different people from various regions of Africa in the US. The celebration unites these representatives with different tastes, life goals, stories, and views in one location where we can exchange the obtained experience. It returns the sense of cultural identity to each of us. The celebration helps to understand these people have more in common than they thought even though each of the African American citizens of the United States is an individual with his own preferences and opinions. I pay attention to the specific, behavioral, and the symbolic for they possess their place in a person being who they are. I wish other citizens of the US who came overseas will realize their belonging one day. There are several helpful ways. One of them is “to acquire a new culture by becoming disabled, moving to a new country or region, or by a change in our economic status. It is enough to start thinking about our belonging to let nostalgia win.” (Community Tool Box, 2013). This truth of life should go hand in hand with every man. Without knowing our identity, we do not exist; people are born to serve their native land as well as the word of God, and I believe it is equally important.”

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Home — Essay Samples — Sociology — Cultural Identity — I Am Proud of My Cultural Identity


I Am Proud of My Cultural Identity

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Words: 1139 |

Updated: 7 November, 2023

Words: 1139 | Page: 1 | 6 min read

  • Chen, K., Shao, A., Jin, Y., & Ng, A. (2020). I Am Proud of My National Identity and I Am superior to You: The Role of Nationalism in Knowledge and Misinformation. Available at SSRN 3758287. (
  • Schwartz, S. J., Zamboanga, B. L., & Weisskirch, R. S. (2008). Broadening the study of the self: Integrating the study of personal identity and cultural identity. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 2(2), 635-651. (
  • Smolicz, J. (1981). Core values and cultural identity. Ethnic and racial studies, 4(1), 75-90. (
  • Hall, S., & Du Gay, P. (Eds.). (1996). Questions of cultural identity: SAGE Publications. Sage. (
  • Lucy, S. (2007). Ethnic and cultural identities. In Archaeology of Identity (pp. 96-119). Routledge. (

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Cultural   Identity  can be most basically described as a sense of belonging within a group. It is formed due to companionship based on the same traditions, beliefs, social structures and languages.  Cultural   identity  is specific for every person and isn’t universally the same. In conjunction with this when an individual migrates or is removed from a community a person’s mental and physical health can be negatively affected due to a lost sense of self and belonging. These concepts are depicted in the documentary ‘Crossing the Line’ as a consequence of the Aboriginal People’s loss of  cultural  norms, religious customs and having to adjust to a new culture, thus changing their sense of self and  identity .  Cultural   identity  is an important factor for health care professionals to consider as culturally sensitive practices need to be carried out to ensure every individual is attended to appropriately, continues to seek support and is encouraged to maintain good health.

Sensitivity and understanding of an individual’s  cultural   identity  is crucial when working as a health care professional. Despite the typical socio-economic problems involved in health inequalities the impact of a lack of understanding and sensitivity towards a person’s  cultural   identity  and health need to be considered also. This issue is presented in ‘Crossing the Line’ when one of the medicine students, Paul attempted to talk to a group of Aboriginal students about mental health and suicide. However traditionally it isn’t culturally like the Aboriginal’s to discuss health as their health is more connected to their land. His supervisor then confronts Paul, as he wasn’t aware that discussions based around mental health aren’t encouraged in aboriginal communities. I believe his naïve actions made him look insensitive and somewhat ignorant towards the Aboriginal people’s  cultural  norms although he thought he was helping because discussion about mental health is encouraged in his culture. When working as a health professional  cultural  sensitivity and awareness is needed, as healthcare in relation to  cultural   identity  isn’t the same for everyone. Likewise despite the students in the documentary feeling the circumstances in which the Aboriginal People’s lived in to be unlivable these conditions are significant to their  cultural   identity  and removing them from their land may have a negative impact on their wellbeing. This is due to a lost sense of self and belonging. If I found myself in a similar situation as a health professional where I wasn’t used to the living situation’s of my patients I would ensure that I become properly educated on the  cultural  behaviours of the people I am dealing with and respect these aspects to ensure they feel safe and connected to.

In addition to sensitivity and understanding of an individual’s  cultural   identity , a loss of  cultural   identity  is depicted in the documentary. During European settlement many Aboriginal people had their  cultural  identities distorted and replaced with a more Western  identity  introduced by the missions. In the documentary an Aboriginal Elder discusses the influence of living in the missionaries after European settlement. The woman talks about believing in God, an aspect of her  cultural   identity passed on by the missionaries. This shows that being brought up i

In addition to sensitivity and understanding of an individual’s  cultural   identity , a loss of  cultural   identity  is depicted in the documentary. During European settlement many Aboriginal people had their  cultural  identities distorted and replaced with a more Western  identity  introduced by the missions. In the documentary an Aboriginal Elder discusses the influence of living in the missionaries after European settlement. The woman talks about believing in God, an aspect of her  cultural   identity passed on by the missionaries. This shows that being brought up in the Missions was crucial in shaping her  cultural   identity  as her initial  cultural   identity  was disrupted. She also discusses the impact of not having the Missionaries in the community anymore. As the original  cultural  identities and social norms were replaced once the missions left no one was able to provide structure and help continue to shape the younger generations of Aboriginal people’s identities. In support of this the elder states “These days without a mission, parents can’t take care of their kids”. I think this is shown to influence the health of the Aboriginal children particularly as they are often wounded or ill and needing to by attended to by the health professionals as they receive minimal care at home., Evidently there is a link between positive  cultural   identity  and surrounding support systems and the maintenance of good health. When working as a health professional understanding that some Aboriginal people in particular may have a loss of  cultural   identity  is essential as it can be an underlying reason for poor health maintenance.

To conclude  cultural   identity  is a crucial element to a person’s health. This is because a person’s religious views, social behaviours and traditions often influence their approach to health and healthcare. Prior to watching ‘Crossing the line’ I was unaware that  cultural   identity  influenced people’s attitudes towards health, an example of this being the differences in approaches to mental health between the medical student and the Aboriginal Australians. I am conscious now that health care is not a “one size fits all” subject and health professionals need to be sensitive to each individual’s  cultural   identity  and specific needs regarding it.

n the Missions was crucial in shaping her  cultural   identity  as her initial  cultural   identity  was disrupted. She also discusses the impact of not having the Missionaries in the community anymore. As the original  cultural  identities and social norms were replaced once the missions left no one was able to provide structure and help continue to shape the younger generations of Aboriginal people’s identities. In support of this the elder states “These days without a mission, parents can’t take care of their kids”. I think this is shown to influence the health of the Aboriginal children particularly as they are often wounded or ill and needing to by attended to by the health professionals as they receive minimal care at home., Evidently there is a link between positive  cultural   identity  and surrounding support systems and the maintenance of good health. When working as a health professional understanding that some Aboriginal people in particular may have a loss of  cultural   identity  is essential as it can be an underlying reason for poor health maintenance.

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Essay on Cultural Identity

Students are often asked to write an essay on Cultural Identity in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Cultural Identity

Understanding cultural identity.

Cultural identity is the feeling of being part of a group or culture. It can be influenced by many things like race, religion, and location. It’s like a shared bond that connects people together. This bond can shape how we see the world and how we behave.

The Importance of Cultural Identity

Cultural identity is important because it gives us a sense of belonging. It helps us understand our history and traditions. This understanding can make us feel more secure and confident. It’s like a roadmap that guides us through life.

How Cultural Identity is Formed

Cultural identity is formed by many things. Our family, friends, and the community we live in can all play a part. Things like the food we eat, the holidays we celebrate, and the language we speak can all shape our cultural identity.

Cultural Identity and Diversity

Cultural identity is a key part of diversity. Different cultures bring different ideas and perspectives. This diversity can make our world more interesting and vibrant. It’s like a colorful tapestry, with each thread adding to the overall picture.

Preserving Cultural Identity

Preserving cultural identity is important. It helps keep traditions alive and strengthens the bond between people. It also helps us appreciate the richness and depth of our world. It’s like a treasure chest full of precious gems.

250 Words Essay on Cultural Identity

What is cultural identity.

Cultural identity is a feeling of belonging to a group. It is part of a person’s self-perception and is related to nationality, ethnicity, religion, social class, generation, locality or any kind of social group that has its own distinct culture. In this way, cultural identity is both characteristic of the individual but also of the culturally identical group of members sharing the same cultural identity.

Cultural identity is important because it acts as a way to preserve history and provides individuals a place where they feel they belong. It is a way of looking at your own culture through your own lens and not someone else’s. This sense of belonging can be seen in many different ways, like how we dress, the language we speak, or the traditions we keep.

How is Cultural Identity Formed?

Cultural identity is formed by many factors, including our families, where we grew up, and our personal experiences. These factors shape our views, values, and beliefs. For example, if you grew up in a big city, you might have different cultural identities than someone who grew up in a small town.

Respecting Cultural Identity

A key part of cultural identity is respect. It’s important to respect other people’s cultural identities, even if they’re different from our own. This means listening to others, learning about their culture, and not making fun of or judging them based on their culture. In turn, this helps create a more understanding and accepting world.

In conclusion, cultural identity is a significant part of who we are. It shapes our experiences, influences our values, and gives us a sense of belonging. By understanding and respecting each other’s cultural identities, we can create a more accepting and diverse world.

500 Words Essay on Cultural Identity

Cultural identity is what makes us unique. It is the way we see ourselves and the world around us. It is shaped by our traditions, beliefs, values, and experiences. It is the way we dress, the food we eat, the language we speak, and the customs we follow. These things come together to create our cultural identity.

Cultural identity is very important. It gives us a sense of belonging. It helps us understand where we come from and gives us a sense of pride in our heritage. It also helps us understand others better. When we understand our own cultural identity, we can respect and appreciate the cultural identities of others. This can lead to better relationships and a more peaceful world.

Cultural identity is formed by many things. Our family and community play a big role. They teach us our traditions and customs. They pass on their beliefs and values. Our experiences also shape our cultural identity. The things we see, hear, and do can change the way we see ourselves and the world.

Cultural Identity and Change

Cultural identity can change over time. As we grow and learn, our views and beliefs can change. We might adopt new customs or traditions. We might learn a new language or start eating different foods. These changes can make our cultural identity richer and more complex.

Respecting cultural identity is very important. It means treating everyone with kindness and fairness, no matter their culture. It means learning about different cultures and appreciating their unique traditions and customs. It means not making fun of or hurting others because of their culture. When we respect cultural identity, we make the world a better place.

In conclusion, cultural identity is a big part of who we are. It is shaped by our family, community, and experiences. It can change over time, and it should be respected. Understanding and appreciating cultural identity can lead to a more peaceful and fair world. So, let’s celebrate our cultural identities and learn from each other. After all, our differences make us unique, and that’s something to be proud of.

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Culture and Identity Development Essay

In the twenty-first century, the human world has become a place of shifting borders, swiftly disseminating ideas, fast and effortless mobility, and ever-increasing connection. Humanity lives in an environment of meaning, where people constantly identify themselves, and decide which more significant categories they may belong to. Culture and identity are the main fields of focus of each personality and society, to which the individual adjusts and grows.

Language, theology, social customs, and history are aspects of a unique community of people’s heritage, considered culture. Similar to how we choose which groups to identify with, which to consider different, and what thoughts and emotions each of these categories awaken, individuals choose which communities to identify with (April 2018). The main difference is that identity alludes to our sense of belonging to a group, whereas culture refers to our pattern of deeply ingrained rituals, ideas, and meanings.

The essential ideas that shape our identities and cultural perception have deep historical roots. The importance of memory, purpose, and the impression of similarity or difference in the identity notion was therefore highlighted in early philosophical perspectives. These conceptual accents later impacted the beliefs of William James and George Herbert Mead, influential theorists whose concepts serve as the basis for modern frameworks (McLean & Syed, 2017). Taylor has suggested that in the setting of a diverse world, identity serves as the foundation for fair social ethics. Other philosophers have suggested that identity should serve as the cornerstone of a universal ethic of social equality and tolerance for cultural diversity.

The positive and negative consequences of residing with other ethnic group members could be explained, as well as interactions within one ethnic group. Members of one community can share common beliefs and ideas to support and expand the cultural background and ties. However, individuals from various ethnic groups can experience adverse relations outcomes due to contradicting views and prejudice in society. Additionally, a bigger ethnical group in the process of constant interaction can suppress the smaller community, which can result in the assimilation process.

Therefore, culture and identity are the main factors contributing to an individual’s personality development. Various scholars worked on the theoretical framework for these concepts, the most prominent were James, Mead, and Taylor. Interactions of various ethnical groups based on cultural differences can lead to either further conflict of beliefs or suppression of one idea; however, inner relationships among one group can help to develop stronger identity markers.

April, W. (2018). Culture and identity . Books on Demand.

McLean, K. C. & Syed, M. (2017). The Oxford handbook of identity development . Oxford University Press.

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IvyPanda. (2023, August 7). Culture and Identity Development.

"Culture and Identity Development." IvyPanda , 7 Aug. 2023,

IvyPanda . (2023) 'Culture and Identity Development'. 7 August.

IvyPanda . 2023. "Culture and Identity Development." August 7, 2023.

1. IvyPanda . "Culture and Identity Development." August 7, 2023.


IvyPanda . "Culture and Identity Development." August 7, 2023.

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Short Essay on Our Culture Our Identity [100, 200, 400 Words] With PDF

Culture is the most significant identity of human beings. So, knowing own culture is very much important. In this lesson today, you will learn how to write an essay on the popular phrase: Our Culture Our Identity.

Feature image of Short Essay on Our Culture Our Identity

Short Essay on Our Culture Our Identity in 100 Words

Culture plays an important role in our lives. Every person is unique and different from the other. It is mainly because of their culture. People belong to several nations and communities. So their language changes, their dresses are different, their habits also do not match with each other. All of these happen because we belong to several cultures.

Our culture builds us to be complete human beings. It is our identity. Culture affects our behaviour, manners, and style. It includes the nature we have. Also, it comes from our family background, the teachings we receive and the moral education that we are given. If we are well cultured, then everyone will praise us. 

Short Essay on Our Culture Our Identity in 200 Words

The line ‘ Our culture our identity’ comes from the country Nepal. Nepal is a land of diversity. It has various types of flora, fauna, festivals, food, dresses, and culture. But now this is applicable to every country living on Earth. Culture is a part of our identity. It builds our character and manners. If we are cultured, then we are praised by all.

Culture also includes language and our behaviour. It also contains our social activities. Culture differs from person to person. It happens due to different nations. We grow up under a definite culture. It affects our moral development. Culture comes both from our family and also from our surroundings. 

Culture Whatever we believe comes from our culture. It remains throughout our life. Nowadays, several people are going to different countries. They study or work abroad. Then the culture of that foreign land affects the person. He mixes the foreign culture with his own. Everything in our life is controlled by culture. It makes us what we are. Our wishes are also part of our culture.

When we succeed in our life, our culture is praised. Culture includes our religions and festivals. Durga puja is now an important festival in foreign countries. All know about Durga Puja. So this helps the Hindu religion and Indian culture get more popular. We live for our culture. Our culture is our pride.

Short Essay on Our Culture Our Identity in 400 Words

We are Indians and we are proud of our nation. We are proud of its people, culture, diversity, independence, nature, and surroundings. What is important for us is the culture we have. Culture makes our identity. As Indians, we have a specific culture. It is different from what others have.

Our culture separates us from others. It is something that makes us unique. It teaches the right and the wrong. We start learning about our culture from childhood. So that we can forever remember it. So culture is our strength. If we follow our culture and its rules, then we will be praised forever. 

The identity of a person is formed by his culture. Whatever we believe comes from that. If we have plans for the future, then our culture helps us in it. When we work for our nation, our culture is praised. Every culture has its own value. We cannot forget that. As we grow up, we have to maintain those values. It helps to grow our lives. It makes our lives more beautiful.

These values are different from one another. Every country has its own culture. It has its own values and morals. We see different habits, people, their practices, festivals, foods, clothes, and language. All of these happen because of culture. Our behaviour and manners are also important. It shows how beautiful our culture is. 

We are taught about our culture from our childhood. Parents always teach their children about the cultures of their country. Even a small society has a separate rule. Culture comes from our family. If we are well behaved, then people praise our family background. Our grandparents also give us lessons on our culture. They are old and wise.

They know a lot about the culture of the nation. Our environment plays an important role in building us as well. If we have a bad surrounding, then it affects us. We do not learn good manners, we become rough, and also go the wrong way. It becomes very difficult for us to adjust if our culture is not good. So culture creates good and strong personalities. 

The line ‘our culture our identity’ comes from Nepal. Nepal is a land of diversity. It has a different language, nature, clothes, food, festivals and people. But now this is applicable to all countries. Culture is very important for us. We must know about it. It makes us proud of what we have. A cultured person is always the best human being on Earth.

In this session today, you have learned how you can write essays on the popular topic:  Our Culture Our Identity. In this lesson, I have tried to discuss the topic from a very easy perspective to make it easier to understand for all kinds of students. If you still have any doubts regarding this context, post them in the comment section below. 

Join us on telegram to get the latest updates on our upcoming sessions. Thank you for being with us. See you again, soon. 

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Essay on Culture and Identity: Identifying Myself

Essay on Culture and Identity: Identifying Myself

Culture refers to the arts and myriad other manifestations of intellectual achievements looked upon collectively in human societies. On the other hand, identity refers to the fact of being whom or what an individual is. In many instances or rather conventionally, culture is used to accord people identity. Different people in the world have lifestyles that are defined by their cultures; the cultures in turn define who they are; their identity. This paper is going to give invaluable insights on how culture helps in the definition of peoples identity.

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Culture and Identity: an Overview

There are several influences that have helped define my perceptions of the person I am and the perceptions I hold of the people around me. I can attribute my philanthropic tendencies to the fact that we moved a lot with my family when I was little; this was due to the nature of my fathers job that got him posted in many places all over Europe. For example, I got the opportunity to live in Spain for a period of 9 years; such experience has helped me to love the differences; the diversity that is existent among cultures. Besides Spain, the other countries I have gotten an opportunity to live in within Europe helped me to get a lot of friends and to sharpen my people relation skills. Hailing from a family that was not conservative with respect to the ways of our native home and this way I was able to communicate and make friends with kids that were older than me; both in the neighborhoods within which we resided and in the schools I got to attend. In a nutshell, I have gotten to realize that since my childhood was defined by a lot of traveling and interactions with people from different cultures, it has become much of a challenge to get pegged onto a particular identity or to identify myself as from a particular culture.

How I See Myself and How Others See Me

On a personal level, I see myself as a person that is easy going and positive. Whats more, I am also a person that is friendly to each and every one. The way my friends see me resonates with the way I see myself; this is especially friends that I spend a lot of time with. All the same with respect to the people I get to meet for the very first time, they get to tell me that I am too quiet. Frankly speaking, I am not very much into talking to people that am not close to; this tendency has marred a lot of the first impressions I get from new friends.

Perceptions of Who I Am

In the event that perceptions of the person I am change, it is usually because the person and or persons in question had had an opportunity to spend time with me and fathomed that I am not the introvert they thought I was when they first met me. It is very much characteristic of me to be more social and welcoming to others that warm up to me in the name of friendship the moment we get close. I have to say though that in order to show respect and under the influence of certain surroundings, I attempt to flex by the habits of others and emulate their social tendencies.

Different people are bound to perceive me differently because not everyone I meet will be an extrovert or an introvert for that matter. I have noticed that for friends I have gotten to meet up to date, the extroverts and the introverts perceive me differently. In most cases, I have gotten to understand that most extroverts will perceive me as reserved and quiet whereas the introverts will deem me to be perfectly alright or normal. The above-mentioned perceptions, however, do not have negative repercussions; no one would criticize me or praise me for being an extrovert or an introvert.

Being Identified With or Identifying Myself

I must say that being identified with or identifying me with a particular group or groups revolves around my friends. During my childhood days, I got to interact with a lot of children that were older than me. My interactions with them got me to learn a thing or two about being disciplined and how to behave around others; overall, these friendships taught me etiquette and a lot of maturities. I am glad that I was able to pick the good from them and leave the bad. Most importantly, I was able to develop the confidence to talk to people from the friendships I realized. Having managed to learn five different languages in Europe and existing within a multicultural sphere helped me a great deal when it came to learning about the correct cultures and attitudes necessary for co-existing with other people.

Strengths that have Come with My Knowledge on Cultures; socially and professionally

Admittedly, there have been myriad strengths that have emanated from my knowledge on cultures more so in my place of work. In my workplace, people skills have helped me develop interpersonal relationships with a lot of my mates at work. In social settings such as the church, I have been elected in a couple of committees such as the Catholic Liturgy Association where I am the treasurer. My job revolves around marketing and with such a disposition, talking to people is a must.

Gender, Class, and Ethnicity

Gender roles define how people perceive my capabilities and attitudes. It cannot be denied that people have biases regarding both men and women can and cannot do; this resonates with matters such as jobs men and or women can do and cannot do. My ethnicity defines very little of me, perhaps only my second name is defined by my ethnicity; apart from that, having grown in cities, metropolitan cultures have made identifying myself a bit of a challenge. Also for ethnicity, I can say that nothing much has come out of it in relation to defining my identity, but the reverse is true for my culture.

My cultural identity has affected a great deal the way I communicate with people. In both informal and formal contexts, I try to behave myself in the best way possible. My cultural values recommend that one should speak when spoken to; being silent is usually perceived as rude. I am not very good when it comes to matters revolving around nonverbal communication save for the usual facial expressions that are common in many human interactions.

Culture and identity resonate in that they help define the behavior of a person. In most cases, culture influences the identity of a person. With respect to culture and identity, many people can possess the same culture, but it is very hard for individuals to have a similar identity. Identity can be likened to a fingerprint; there are never two similar identities.

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  1. Sample essay on cultural identity

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    My cultural identity represents who I am as a person and who my family is. My family are my role models for my cultural identity. Even through some off the things they are stereotypical for males and females I would like to share some of the things that represent our cultural identity.

  16. Cultural Identity Essay

    Essay On Cultural Identity. Culture identity development is an important part of every life due the emergence of self through primary and sociocultural contexts (Ecklund, 2016). These stages of development are made up of either a dominant or a non-dominant group and intersectional adaptation. More specifically, cultural identity is a self ...

  17. Cultural Identity Essay: What is Cultural Identity? (Example)

    CulturalIdentity can be most basically described as a sense of belonging within a group. It is formed due to companionship based on the same traditions, beliefs, social structures and languages. Culturalidentity is specific for every person and isn't universally the same.

  18. Argumentative Essay on the Essence of Cultural Identity

    This cultural identity essay allows individuals to delve into the multifaceted aspects of their personal backgrounds, experiences, and passions, ultimately leading to a deeper understanding and appreciation of their cultural identity.

  19. Essay on Identity And Culture

    Essay on Identity And Culture December 7, 2023 Students are often asked to write an essay on Identity And Culture in their schools and colleges. And if you're also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic. Let's take a look… 100 Words Essay on Identity And Culture What is Identity?

  20. Essay on Cultural Identity

    What is Cultural Identity? Cultural identity is a feeling of belonging to a group. It is part of a person's self-perception and is related to nationality, ethnicity, religion, social class, generation, locality or any kind of social group that has its own distinct culture.

  21. Culture and Identity Development

    Culture and Identity Development Essay Exclusively available on IvyPanda Updated: Aug 7th, 2023 In the twenty-first century, the human world has become a place of shifting borders, swiftly disseminating ideas, fast and effortless mobility, and ever-increasing connection.

  22. Short Essay on Our Culture Our Identity [100, 200, 400 Words] With PDF

    Short Essay on Our Culture Our Identity in 200 Words. The line ' Our culture our identity' comes from the country Nepal. Nepal is a land of diversity. It has various types of flora, fauna, festivals, food, dresses, and culture. But now this is applicable to every country living on Earth. Culture is a part of our identity.

  23. Essay on Culture and Identity: Identifying Myself

    In most cases, culture influences the identity of a person. With respect to culture and identity, many people can possess the same culture, but it is very hard for individuals to have a similar identity. Identity can be likened to a fingerprint; there are never two similar identities.