Identity Is A Cultural Construct For The Social Lives Of People And The Foundations Of Their Personality

858 Words Apr 4th, 2016 4 Pages
Identity is a cultural construct that manifests in different forms within every individual and group. Understanding culture is crucial to understand the essential context to the social lives of people and the foundations of their personality. Creating a basis where referential analysis can be conducted, the uniqueness seen in individuals is what makes up their identity. Therefore, my definition of identity is: a set of characteristics relating to labeling of groups, categories, associations and affiliations, beliefs and ideologies and personhood, that people associate themselves. In this paper, I will provide examples from the articles that illustrate the various components of my definition.
To begin, Whitehead’s (1980) ethnography of Jamaicans who belonged to the lowest social class provides a good example of how people from various social classes label each other. During his ethnography, individuals who were higher on the socio-economic ladder were calling those who were below them “less respectable” and pressed that they were a waste of time studying. Specifically, these upper class individuals used economic status and devotion to church as criteria to identify their own and separate themselves from those who did not hold the same values.
Csordas’(1999) article regarding the various ritual healing practices in Navajo society best illustrates how different religious factions define themselves. Csordas mentions that within contemporary Navajo society, there are three…

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