Culture and Britain

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Evaluate the claim that when talking about British culture, it is better to talk of cultures.

“National identities are only one among the many identities that people can hold”, (Clarke,2009, p212). The key question this statement is asking is how people perceive themselves and how others perceive them as British. This highlights the main area of this assignment, what is Britishness and who is perceived as British? And also to what extent does British culture have ‘shared values’, ideas and ways of life in today’s society and is it better to talk of many cultures when discussing British culture.

To be British implies sharing a place of residence, a place to call your country; it’s not entirely about being born in Britain or even the British flag. Many people argue that being British has its own characteristics in comparison to being French or Italian etc., and this is true. Although residents of Britain will all have different personalities and identities according to their background, their Britishness will distinguish that they are British people and this forms the basis of a national identity and explains British culture. If you were to ask residents of Britain to describe themselves, they will do so in many different ways, and will always reference back to family and friends, all of which play a part in defining a British identity. Identities are socially constructed throughout life and each individual will have their own unique identity so therefore not every person in Britain will have the same mundane identity. Therefore to identify an overall national identity, Britain over time has grew to become a very modern and diverse society and also the political desire to define what Britishness is today (Clarke, 2009, p209-214).

“In the United Kingdom, national identity and citizenship do not always mean the same thing”, this information is provided by the Home office, (Home office cited in Clarke, 2009, p210). This statement gives a contemporary view...
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