Cultural Distinctiveness Definition

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Rachel Dolezal is a Caucasian prominent civil rights activist who decided she wanted to identify as black. She changed her skin color, curled her hair, and created fictional stories in order to perpetrate her desired identity. After she was caught misrepresenting herself, stories sparked public conversation. This essay will focus on key terms discussed in class and how they can be related to the mass media 's response to the situation. According to the reading "Mapping the Terrain: Definitions," creation of ethnic identity occurs when groups or individuals claim cultural distinctiveness based on the perception of a common decent, physical appearances, and beliefs (Mapping the Terrain: Definitions). There are three ways a person can claim cultural distinctiveness is through the adoption of the physical attributes, political tendencies, and cultural practices that are inherent in …show more content…
(Module 5 eText) The result is that many people have different interpretations of what race is and defining characteristics has resulted in much disagreement and controversy. A good example of this is shown through the article, "Black Like Who" Tamera Harris, which demonstrates two examples of how race is a product of human interpretation. The first example is shown through Tamera 's own perception of what qualifies somebody to actually be black. The author of this article states, "Black women—real ones— live at the nexus of that oppression (systemic racism) and enduring sexism." This shows that being black requires the experience of the oppression they feel is inherent to their race. In the writer 's opinion, people who do not live through the societal hardships are not truly black. According to this ideology, because Rachel Dolezal grew up white and experienced some of the privileges, this disqualifies her from identifying as

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