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Reflective Essay Cultural Identity


 The Origins Dilemma

I would like to begin my paper by identifying a fallacy in most all studies conducted by psychologists, sociologists, etc. I believe that most all of the studies in these fields (as withmany “scientific” fields), attempt to pinpoint the origin of a particular phenomenon in humanthinking, feeling, and/or behavior, as if human life was so linear, so causal that, like a snowballrolling down a large hill, human life can be watched from beginning to end, the origin of a phenomenon discerned, the growth in magnitude of a phenomenon meticulously measured alongits trajectory, and the ultimate affects of a phenomenon’s climatic collision with an obstacle painstakingly recorded in absolute detail. While this is a fallacy in and of itself, the bigger fallacy is on the part of the researchers themselves, who are wrapped in a cloak of hubris as theyraise their studies above others and say their treatises on any given phenomenon is the moreappropriate, accurate, and truthful.For instance, Herbert Blumer in his article “Race Prejudice as a Sense of Group Position”decrees all previously held notions regarding the origin of race prejudice as irrelevant and laudshis own theories as undeniable truth. He explains how race prejudice does not find its beginnings in individual self-construction, but from group position.


If Blumer would havelogically followed through with that theory, then he might have concluded that race prejudicecould not exist where there exists solitary individuals. There are individuals who form certainaspects of their personal identity apart from what would be their “group.” It is possible for  people to form their own prejudices towards another race in the absence of a group of similar individuals. Further, Blumer should have asked himself whether the opposite of racial prejudice,racial tolerance, is formed at an individual or group level, because very clearly racial tolerance is


Herbert Blumer, “Race Prejudice as a Sense of Group Position,”

 The Pacific SociologicalReview

, Spring (1958): 86-93


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

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.

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?

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