Importance of Identity and Ethnicity Essay Sample

Importance of Identity and Ethnicity Pages
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1. Identity and Self * Name an identity and that name or form of identification will always be associated with that person or personality * Many communities has naming rituals * Through naming, a group acknowledges a child’s birthright and establish the child’s social identity * With no name, the individual has no identity, no self * Self-awareness develops from childhood and socialization plays an important role * Important for successful socio-cultural and social functioning * Identify oneself as an individual creature * Assume responsibility * To construct and acquire identities – the social perspective is to always give consideration to the interaction between the individual and the social * Identity is not a static category * Continuous process and can more accurately be called identification * Identification anthropologists always refer to social identification * Identity refer to unique individual * Social identification has to do with which groups a person belong to, who he/she identifies with * Ways of identification gives a secure sense of belonging to a group 2. Social and Group Identity

* Human beings spend a lot of time and energy “creating” themselves and others and formulating ideas about social identity * “Imagines Communities” describe how people identify themselves, and there are many such communities social, professional and ideological * People are increasingly discovering or developing their commonalities in a new kind of place “cyberspace” i.e. Facebook * Relatives and relations, kinship and friendship play an important role in the formation of different groupings and each implies a specific identity for the individual who is a member of such a group i.e. mother, father etc. * Titles in themselves are not of great importance * Important is the behavior associated with the title and the implied identity of the person 3. Gender and Sexuality * Fundamental aspects of human identity is that of gender * Comparisons between communities reveal there are variations in ideas about how many genders exist and how these are composed * Genitals – WesternDensity of Flesh – NepalInclination and behavior – Gender categories more fluid * The anthropology of gender often focus on how ideas about masculinity or feminine are upheld in different socio-cultural context

* Differences in gender located in all bodies, the anthropological distinguishes between sexed bodies and socially constructed bodies * Gender is only the set of variable social constructions placed upon such differentiated bodies * Gender identity is not simply a passive identify acquired through socializing * Experience, race, class etc. affect the experience of gender 4. Ethnicity and Xenophobia * Ethnicity is defined in terms of a kind of socio-cultural “character” or “disposition” (ethos) * Have common genetic and / or linguistic, religious, national and socio-cultural backgrounds * Outsiders do not belong * Socio-cultural “markers” important to define an ethnic group * Ethnicity is a process, dynamic and not just a fixed category * Come to afore when people claim a particular ethnic identity for themselves and are defined by others as having a distinct identity * Ethnicity assume racial dimension – “multicultural” 5. Identity / Ethnicity Expressed, signified and represented 1. Language 2. Architecture 3. Food 4. Oral histories, art and performance 5. Tourism 6. Museums and cultural heritage 7. Film

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