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  1. #1
    Resident Snot-Nose GZA's Avatar
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    Default Cultural/ethnic identity and psychology

    1) How does your cultural and ethnic identity influence who you are, especially in cultures such as Canada or the United States, ect where there is a huge veriety of cultures and ethnicities living together?

    2) How does living surrounded by different cultures and identities influence you?


    I think that your identity in terms of what culture you are from or what ethnicity can influence you to some degree, or at least give you some sense of who you are. For example, the vast majority of my family going back many many generations has been of British ancestry. My family moved from Britain to Canada over a hundred years ago... probably before Canada became a country, so we tend to think of ourselves as simply Canadian rather than the children or grandchildren of immigrants. For me, this has influenced my appreciate for Canadian history a lot, and my own sort of identity as a Canadian and my commitment to Canada (by that I mean that I'd pretty much refuse to live anywhere else unless soemthing drastic happened). This, in turn, has enveloped into other parts of my life and thinking, including things related to my second question. I'm not exactly sure how my ethnicity has made any difference in itself... but perhaps being a sort of quintessential white-guy-with-blue-eyes has made some small difference that I'm unable to identify. I havn't really asked, untill now, what it means to other people to be of the heritage they are, and I've always wondered.

    Being surrounded by other cultures is something else in itself. Having grown up with a lot of kids of different cultures and ethnicities, its just sort of normal, almost like being colour blind so to speak. So, that in itself I think means that being around different ethnicities has no effect because it is just normal. However, we do point out and discuss ethnicity, so it is something we are aware of, which for some doesn't make a difference, for others it may lead to racism, and for some others it may do soemthing entirely different... I'm not really sure. One difference being around all these people of different colutres is that you can really learn a lot and be more "global" in your thinking. Just by talking to my circle of friends and aquantances, I could probably learn a lot about various parts of the world from first hand experience without leaving a single room, which is like fodder for Ne


    What are your thoughts on psychology and ethnicity/cultural identity?

  2. #2
    Resident Snot-Nose GZA's Avatar
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    One more question I forgot... how does the difference between being a majority culture/ethnicity verse a minority group influence you? I'm especially curious about the minorities.

    One thing I've noticed about us majority (white people) is that when in a discussion about racism a lot of white people tend to almost overcompensate for the past racism white people have had in north america (and often forget that racism has occured everywhere and everyone has been both the victim and the oppressor). We also seem to often overemphasize that we personally are not racist, rather than assuming it, which I find interesting because our culture as a whole is unassumedly not racist. Why do people feel they sometimes have to specify they arn't racist when its next to impossible to be racist here without serious indoctrination, and everyone knows that? This is a somewhat controversial observation, I'm sure, and I don't think it is universal or anything, but I know I've seen it many times and only in the ethnic majority.

    I also forgot about subcultures, rather than the cultures people bring from the control they moved from (i.e. India, Africa, ect... there was a really cool assembly at school recently celebrating different cultures and it had some really cool African music and Indian dancing). Some examples of subculture could be punk, hip-hop, environmentalism, arts, ect... things that people assemble over and are collectively passionate about. I suppose how these influence people depends on the culture itself.

    The rich verse poor cultural differences are probably interesting, too.

  3. #3
    `~~Philosoflying~~` SillySapienne's Avatar
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    I am ethnically half Ashkenazi Jew, and half Korean.

    My mother is Korean and I love her but she is an entirely different breed of human being than I, she came a really effed up time and place, imo. Generally speaking, I don't at all identify with Korean culture but I sure do love me some Korean B.B.Q.

    My father was an atheist Jew who was a hardcore intellectual, skeptic and analyst. He was a pain in the ass but I think my debate/discourse "skills" were highly influenced by him. Also, I went to a Jewish elementary school, and my high school was 60% Jewish.

    So long story short, I do find myself identifying with Jewish culture a bit.

    I really have a shit ton to say regarding this topic but I would for sure get massacred for my thoughts, so, yay for being scerred!!!
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  4. #4
    Resident Snot-Nose GZA's Avatar
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    P.M. me with your thoughts, CC, I'd really love to hear them. If you're uncomfortable with that though, its ok.


    I know a lot of jewish kids who really like being jewish and the jewish culture, even if they are really atheist or agnostic. They love the parties and get-togethers and everything, and a good friend of mine says he does define himself by jewish culture to some extent and he loves talking about it. I've met others who hated the jewish culture and the other jewish kids, too, but I can't remember why...

    Which raises another interesting thing, how does it effect people to be born into a culture they will grow to strongly dislike, such was the case with the two jewish girls I mentioned earlier who said they couldn't stand the jewish culture.

    I can somewhat relate to this, but only a little bit. My dad is golf obessive to the point of it being almost cultural, especially since he's a lawyer so most of his collegues are big golfers, too, and my whole life I've bassically just rejected golf... but I don't think that counts because it isn't very substantial.

  5. #5
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    The vast majority of my ancestry is Askenazi Jew -- I'd say at least a good 80% of it, probably more. Most of my family came to the States around 1900 from places like Russia, Poland, Lithuania, etc.

    I'm not too into Jewish culture but I can stand it when I'm forced into it. Most significant, though, at least where I live, is not that I have a Jewish identity but that I lack a Christian identity. Where I live, this can lead to all sorts of uncomfortable situations. There are a lot of places where it's much worse than where I live, though.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  6. #6
    Resident Snot-Nose GZA's Avatar
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    Interesting about how it feels to not be soemthing (in your case christian). A lot of Canadian cultural identity is in not being American.

    Which still raises more questions I wonder if there have been any real studies on this specifically...

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    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GZA View Post
    Interesting about how it feels to not be soemthing (in your case christian). A lot of Canadian cultural identity is in not being American.

    Which still raises more questions I wonder if there have been any real studies on this specifically...
    Well, at least if you're Canadian, people aren't continually trying to convert you into being American because they think you're a nice person and wouldn't want you to end up going to Hell...
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  8. #8
    ByMySword
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChick View Post
    I really have a shit ton to say regarding this topic but I would for sure get massacred for my thoughts, so, yay for being scerred!!!
    Yeah, same.

    I'm 100% Texan, but before that my family was Anglo-Welsh on my Dad's side and Anglo/French-German on my Mom's. Also have some Hispanic and Native American (Cherokee and Aztec) somewhere along the line. Been planning to trace my ancestry back for some time now. Going to get around to it one day when I get some free time.

    I identify most with the Celtic heritage I have. Of course, its a warrior culture, so it figures.

    Other cultures don't really influence me much. I'm very interested in them and am very open-minded to them, but I'm satisfied with my own enough to not be influenced. Whatever that means, anyway.

    Edit: Ok, sorry, I keep forgetting to answer all the questions. I'd like to point out that I think that everyone is racist at some point in time. Its simply making judgement on a person based on race. Hell, it could even be a good judgement, i.e. Jews are good with money.

    What I don't like is how in America, you say racist and everyone pictures a fat redneck with overalls and a John Deere cap. And of course he's white. That's why I feel white people are so fearful of being labled racists in this country. But everyone needs to let the past stay in the past and realize that racism comes from everyone and everywhere. Its human nature.

  9. #9
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    I've never really thought much about ethnicity, but then I'm a brown-haired Caucasian... about as normal as you can get. So I never really had to worry about ethnicity. I do tend to be a little anxious that other ethnicities blame me for past repression and want revenge, so I'm always looking over my shoulder for that.

    I guess the way my ethnicity has affected me is to help make me somewhat guarded and distrustful of change. Perhaps it's also given me a natural affinity for the Western philosophy of analysis rather than the Eastern one of interconnectedness.

  10. #10
    Member TK*'s Avatar
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    1) How does your cultural and ethnic identity influence who you are, especially in cultures such as Canada or the United States, ect where there is a huge veriety of cultures and ethnicities living together?

    Um...I'm black and I live in the US of A and I don't think my ethnicity "influences" me, as you put it. This is me...I can't "influence" myself, I am "influenced" by other people and events. I guess I can only answer your second question.

    2) How does living surrounded by different cultures and identities influence you?

    I think it's all about how we are perceived...I can only base my way of acting/thinking based on how others perceive me. How am I percieved by different cultures/identities? I can only guess. But as far as "influencing" me goes, I could give a rat's ass what people think about me. I've dealt with some real assholes in my life, in my family, from strangers, whatever and I'm bound to deal with more as I go on, but hey, life sucks and that's how it goes sometimes.

    Yeah, I can probably write a long ass response about "racism" on both white, black, blue, green, orange, yellow, whatever that I've dealt with...but why do it? It's not worth the time or the energy. It doesn't change who I am as a person. All I know is, I'm happy being me. I'm happy my friends/boyfriend/family are happy with me being me, and that's all I need who can and will ever "influence" me, good or bad.

    Probably not the answer you were looking for...but whatever, it's my answer.

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