18 May 2022

#TheYouthCreativeAcademy: What is cultural identity & why is it important?


Traditions, language, religion, food, music, conventions, practices, and values are examples of collective features and knowledge of a particular group of people, also known as culture. Identity refers to a person's values, beliefs, attributes, looks, or other ways of expressing themselves, what makes them who they are.

Cultural identity refers to a person's sense of belonging to a group. It is linked to nationality, ethnicity, religion/ spiritual belief, social class, generation, area, language, sexuality, beliefs, aesthetics, and even food or any other social group with its own distinct culture as part of a person's self-concept and self-perception. Cultural identity is thus a feature of both the person and the culturally identical group of people who share the same features, preferences, needs and values.

We are often born into a cultural identity, but as we develop as individuals, we can identify with multiple cultures or sub-cultures. Involvement in identity groups and be voluntarily or involuntarily.

Culture and identity are developed by our interactions with others and in connection to social, cultural, and political circumstances, according to the social constructionist concept of culture and identity. Race, gender, sexuality, and ability are cultural identities that have evolved over time in response to historical, social, and political settings and have an impact on how we communicate and interact.

We notice similarities and differences in people whenever we meet them, categorizing people into in-groups and out-groups based on our perceptions of these. While both are essential, it is the differences that are frequently highlighted and challenge communication. Learning how to engage constructively and creatively with difference must turn into a focus of any (inter/cross-)cultural learning process and digital tools can play a huge role in facilitating it. 

You can watch a video of Sophie, reflecting on discovering the beauty of her own culture through gaming.