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Cultural identity is a part of a person's identity, or their self-conception and self-perception, and is related to nationality, ethnicity, religion, social class, generation, locality or any kind of social group that has its own distinct culture. In this way, cultural identity is both characteristic of the individual but also of the culturally identical group of members sharing the same cultural identity or upbringing. Cultural identity is a fluid process that is changed by different social, cultural, and historical experiences. Some people undergo more cultural identity changes as opposed to others, those who change less often have a clear cultural identity. This means that they have a dynamic yet stable integration of their culture.
There are three pieces that make up a person's cultural identity: cultural knowledge, category label, and social connections. Cultural knowledge refers to a person's connection to their identity through understanding their culture's core characteristics. Category label refers to a person's connection to their identity through indirect membership of said culture. Social connections refers to a person's connection to their identity through their social relationships. Cultural identity is developed through a series of steps. First, a person comes to understand a culture through being immersed in those values, beliefs, and practices. Second, the person then identifies as a member of that culture dependent on their rank within that community. Third, they develop relationships such as immediate family, close friends, coworkers, and neighbors.
Culture is a term that is highly complex and often contested with academics recording about 160 variations in meaning. Underpinning the notion of culture is that it is dynamic and changes over time and in different contexts resulting in many people today identifying with one or more cultures and many different
It is a defining feature of a person's identity, contributing to how they see themselves and the groups with which they identify. A person's understanding of their own and other's identities develops from birth and is shaped by the values and attitudes prevalent at home and in the surrounding community.