What Make's Up One's Identity?

Topics: Culture, Webster's Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Pages: 6 (2150 words) Published: December 5, 2010

Thesis statement; There are a great deal of factors that altogether form one’s identity, the most relevant and main ones are culture, which includes nationality as well as religion, intellect, personality, and world exposure.

I. Culture is a crucial factor when it comes to forming one’s identity. A. The characteristics of our country of origin.
* The power that our nationality has on our person.
* The language, our culinary traditions, clothing etc.
B. Religion.
* The values.
* The traditions.

II. Ways of interpreting situations and our personality, strongly mirror who we are. A. The elements that formed our intellect.
* Education and upbringing.
* Political views, as well as other ideas concerning society’s organization. B. The social attributes we gain.
* The individuals in our surroundings.
* The experiences we go through.

III. The strong impact of travelling on our identity.
A. Eye-openers that broaden our minds.
* The new cultures we integrate.
* The new people we meet and their influence on our personality. B. Developing a sense of belonging to more than one culture. * The process of becoming a “halfie”.

Merriam Webster’s online dictionary defines identity as “the distinguishing character or personality of an individual”, which is undoubtedly true. Firstly there is culture, in other words, the land we feel we belong in and the characteristics that come with belonging to this particular country. Seldom do people remember to include one’s personality in the definition of his or hers identity. However, it is extremely important because it is precisely what distinguishes us from our compatriots; otherwise our identity would not be uniquely ours, but the one of everyone from the same land. Moreover, it should not be forgotten that identity is permanently subject to change, whether it be through travelling or new experiences. The combination of all these factors are what forms one’s identity.

Culture probably consists of attributes that form more than half of our identity, and it is mainly formed of our nationality and our religion.
It is essential, that one feels a strong bond between him and his country; this is the reason why nationality is so often spoken about, when the topic of identity is being discussed. An individual needs to feel as if he has a homeland, meaning a place where he can relate to others because they live in the same environment, have the same climate, the same state regulations, duties, as well benefit from the same rights. To that effect, one feels a sense of comradeship between him and his “soil”. This is why individuals sometimes voluntarily join the army, because they feel obliged to defend their country. And some soldiers today, in particular the ones of the American army, are sent all the way across the world to Iraq for the sole purpose of fighting for their state. Individuals feel a strong need to be patriotic, and some are willing to go to great lengths to show to others why they believe their country is “best”. A British character in Oliver Goldsmith’s text “National prejudice”, who is “cocking his hat, and assuming such an air of importance as if he had possessed all the merit of the English nation” (Goldsmith), clearly illustrates this point because he makes discriminatory statements in the name of his nation. All of the above goes to show the fundamental impact one’s nationality has on his or hers identity. Moreover, our country of origin also imparts to us certain characteristics related to it, mainly a language to communicate amongst each other, local food, outfits, dances etc. They are basically the elements we see displayed when establishments such as schools or universities, prepare “international days”, when individuals build stands showing the particularities of their country. They also contribute immensely to the formation of our identity,...
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