Cultural Identity Essay

2766 Words6 Pages

Caste, Social Class and Cultural Identity Development In Psychology, identity formation is seen as a process of developing one’s individuality, where an individual develops distinct personality, involves a sense of uniqueness and affiliation. It is how a person defines him/herself. According to Erikson’s theory, identity development occurs typically during adolescence and early adulthood. A person’s identity may be related to several aspects like language, caste, culture, religion, social class, race, gender, sexuality, occupation, and family. Cultural identity refers to a sense of belonging to one’s cultural or ethnic group. It is a collective phenomenon. Here the person shares certain common characteristics with his/her cultural group members, identifies with the values, beliefs of the cultural group. There are stages of cultural identity development given by James Bank (1976, 2004). They are as follows: Stage 1: Ethnic psychological captivity: the person has monocultural experiences. He/she identifies with negative stereotypes, ideologies and beliefs about their own cultural/ethnic group. This may lead to low self-esteem and cultural self-rejection. They may be ashamed of their membership to the specific group and react in ways like avoiding situations involving interaction with other groups, or trying to establish contact with other cultural groups for assimilation. Stage 2: Ethnic Encapsulation: people have defensive attitude towards their ethnic group. They believe that their group is superior to others and participate exclusively within their own ethnic group. Stage 3: Ethnic Identity Clarification: here people begin to have positive attitude towards their ethnic group. Cultural pride is genuine at this stage. They clari... ... middle of paper ... ...s of dalits who have moved into higher echelons are Former Indian President K.R.Narayanan, Dr. Jagjivan Ram, Former Chief Justice of India K.G.Balakrishnan, and former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Ms. Mayawati among others. Despite all these efforts, in many parts atrocities and misuse of benefits still continue. Hence people on a large scale need to be educated about their rights and duties, motivated for further development and positive contribution to the society and nation. Also, we need to bring in further attitudinal change among people of all strata (caste/class) so that they can be more accepting and tolerant. This will help to bring an all inclusive development in the society with mutual respect for each other. This is especially relevant in the current context of globalisation and liberalisation, where we are moving towards becoming a global citizen.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the documentary "india untouched" portrayed how discrimination and untouchability still exists in various parts of india.
  • Explains that identity formation is a process of developing one’s individuality, where an individual develops distinct personality.
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