Nearly everyone in the world identifies himself or herself with a specific cultural orientation. There are many aspects which comes with culture, you either finds yourself inheriting or choose to adapt a particular culture. Individuals may choose to associate themselves with a certain culture on their own free will and initiates the process. Similarly, one may inherit a culture from the time he is born, this is mostly possible as a person grows up, and the society will socialize him with that culture and grows knowing that to be the culture. The social participation of individuals enables them to acquire new cultures which they adopt in life. One may also decide to acquire a culture he is labeled by his society and at the same time choose to copy other cultures. Every identity has a role it plays in the larger society in general.
Individual’s identities are unique to their social groups, for instance by identity which I inherited is gender and it identifies me as a female. I had no sole responsibility to choose the gender I wanted but it was through the society. I was born a female without contributions I made towards that. Individuals have no capacity to influence, change or refuse to get their identity; it is mostly inherited from the society. This forms the basis of my thesis. As a female individual in the society, you are expected to behave in a particular pattern as the culture accords. Marjosola and Mills (2002) assert that individuals have no option in deciding their gender but have other options available for them. What we need to answer is that to what level society influences the individual’s cultural identity. Does the society have influence in our social identity? Being born and brought up in the Asian culture was not my fault but it was predetermined by the society where I was born.
Ones social identity may also include his race, as an Asian young girl, I have come to identify myself with Asian culture as I was brought up with the same environment in which I live. It may be difficult to choose on a culture or initiate a new culture in predominantly traditional cultures. Alternatively, one can acquire or choose to change his identity by striving to change his socioeconomical or religion status, it is acquired at birth but you can decide to change it since it is not permanently branded in you (Hannum, 2011).
I identify myself as a female for I was born a female and do not have authority over it, it was determined from the time society brought you up otherwise one couldn’t be living in the universe. I have chosen to change the socioeconomic status since I have the mandate over it and I also have to comply with the age which was given by the society. I fit in all these three identities because of the culture. In traditional Asian societies mostly India, individuals did not have the power to choose the caste in which you were to be born, it was decided by the society. This initially determined my socieconomical or religious status but has since changed. Modernization has facilitated more participation of weaker gender which is seen to be women and has raised their economical standards throughout Asian continent. Women are nowadays creating new social cultures unlike in the past when they were suppressed by biased cultures in the society (Fine, 2002). Most of this identities; gender, age group, socioeconomic status, nationalities, religion among others were influenced by the society. At the same time, expansion of the political space has enabled individuals to change their nationalities and acquire new citizenships.
A number of limits exist that bar individuals with above identities, for instance, Asians have developed a culture in which people of certain age don’t get jobs in the public sector, and this was after the March 14th riot in Tibetan (Wang & Huters, 2011). This is a limitation of individuals to public participation because one is on a certain social identity like age which is inherited. There are also conditions as one to moves about, he or she is limited due to his nationality. This has been a hindrance from one’s free moves. Asian culture has a special place for women for they have a special role to play in ensuring the family welfare; this is assigned to individuals in regards to your gender. On many occasions, people of same social identities like gender, age protested over their oppression. This is what resulted to reforms in the Indian government as women wanted to get their share (Sumit & Sarkar, 2008). Lack of expression space interferes with one’s psychological development and this is what happens when one is denied an opportunity to express himself. One may not have the ability to interact and get to learn from others who had acquired the knowledge and this may lead to a disorder (Shaffer, 2008).
Media has been in the fore front in promoting the social identities; it associates with the young age as they form the basis of their network. It responds positively in matters relating to ones gender with disparities when it comes to ones economic status. Most of the Asian young people have found accountability in the media. They feel and wait to see if their relationship with the media will offer them security to their cultural identity which is being rejected by other squatters (Kim, 2008). Media uses the young age in passing their information which is of their benefit; this brings the mutual benefit of the two parties.
Each identity has its economical implication, for instance, age is a factor in securing employment in any given place, and your socioeconomic status and religion determines your leisure’s and interaction with people. Gender determines the type of economical activity you participate in and all that pertains to it (Thompson, 2003). In addition to economic implications of the above identities, they have a political relations and realities. Elections assume that all factors such as social identities are the same and with the political will, one should be at a position to participate. Age is a factor when it comes to engaging in politics and it has some limitations. The violence associated with politics is biased towards one gender hence the female may not participate in it. It is also determined by one’s socioeconomic status and needs resources to push you through (Taylor, 1996). The above identities share some similarities in that most of them are inherited from the society and we have less to change the status. It is only socioeconomic status and religion that one may work hard to change but the rest were determined by the society.
In conclusion, our social identities are inherited and we have no choice over them in influencing the way to go. Depending with ones society, changing a socioeconomic status may be as well be difficult as changing your age and gender.