Exercise 1.1

Objective: to introduce ideas from “The Question of Cultural Identity” and understand writing as a conversation.

Estimated time: 1 – 1.5 hours
Due by 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, January 29th

Part 1—Watching

Watch the Stuart Hall interview video “Questions of Identity”.

Part 2—Reading

  • Read the Reading (and Writing) for Conversation writing guide.
  • Read Section 1 of “The Question of Cultural Identity.” Make note of any questions you may have.

Part 3—Writing

Pretend that you are in a conversation with Stuart Hall. Describe to him a time when you experienced internal or external conflict due to possessing (or being perceived as possessing) multiple cultural identities. For example, it may have been a situation in which you felt that one of your cultural identities was challenged by or in conflict with another of your cultural identities. Post your response below as a COMMENT to this post.

Part 4—Journal 1.1: Context Research

Spend 15 minutes (only) researching the following context online and bring it with you to class on Wednesday.

  • Stuart Hall
  • Kobena Mercer
  • The Enlightenment
  • Anthony Giddens
  • Ernesto Laclau
  • Jacques Lacan
  • Sigmund Freud
  • Clarence Thomas / Anita Hill
  • Renee Descartes
  • Michel Foucault
  • Ferdinand de Saussure
  • Raymond Williams

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31 thoughts on “Exercise 1.1

  1. Recently, I went out with one of my cousins and my brother to have a simple dinner and just hangout since we haven’t really seen each other for around a year or two. For dinner, my cousin decided to eat at a Chinese restaurant because it seemed fitting to eat chinese food as it was the type of food we always ate as a group, but this especially so because this restaurant in particular was one that my side of the family and her side family would always go to for lunches or dinners.
    My cousin decides to order food for our table and asks us what we would like to eat, but in Cantonese. Because my cantonese speaking is rather mediocre in terms of speaking, i just tell her food options in English. Later on, when the food actually arrives, the entire time I’m eating I wonder to myself, “Do I need a fork? Or should I just keep using chopsticks?” As confident as I could’ve been with chopsticks, my American side just kept nagging at me in the back of mind, “You sure you don’t need a fork?” I even mess up once with the chopsticks and tried so hard to play it off, but I’m pretty sure my cousin and brother noticed. Also while eating, there was specific moment where the way I ate from one of the dishes in a certain way bothered my cousin, and she asked me about it in the most inquisitive way, but I felt the question instead target my cultural identity at the time. And I just told her, “I’m probably the most American Asian cousin you know.”

  2. Hi Mr.Hall, how are you? I just watched your interview video on “Questions of Identity” and it intrigued me very much when I heard what you had to say. Cultural identity makes up of many factors for example where someone from, religion, language, education, and much more. Within the video you were speaking about how cultural identity forms a person, and I agree with that statement. This is because being from a certain region leads to bias on how others percieve and view you, making your treatment and outlook on life differently from others. Cultural Identity can shape ones personality. I wanted to speak to you about a time I experienced an internal conflict due to possessing too many cultural identities. This conflict occurred because I am Afghan but was born and raised in America where it affected my cultural identity in one factor which was Language. My parent raised me speaking mainly Pashto a language spoken in Afghanistan in the household but as my parents got older they understood the english language much more fluently and always spoke that instead. This led me to lose my ability to speak fluent in my native language creating internal conflict. Language is a very important element in allowing a culture to thrive and survive due to all the langauges going extinct. This motivated me to work on my language more and now I am able to speak fluently again in Pashto. I would really love to hear more on how you felt with your conflict of not being fully committed to your culture and where your from and how it affected your life.
    Sincerely, Afsana Olomi

  3. Hi, Mr. Hall. I watched your interview “Questions of Identity” and read your passage “The Question of Cultural Identity” both were very interesting and contributed to the complex topic of Cultural Identity. I recall a time when I had a conflict due to my multiple cultural identities. When I was 10 I went back to my home country of Pakistan with my mom and sister. I lived almost my whole life in America and was very scared of going back. The two cultural identities that I associate with are American and Pakistani. When I was there these two cultural identities conflicted with each other a lot. I spoke very little Urdu at the time but could understand most of what everyone was saying. Sometimes when I would speak to people I would accidentally say something in English remembering my American cultural identity. At the same time I got to eat Pakistani food which is a part of my Pakistani cultural identity. In the end it turned out to be a great trip because I met a lot nice people and visited a lot of interesting places. I hope I can solve my problem of cultural identity in the future.

  4. Good evening Mr. Hall, I read a part of you work that made me think about my own identity and how it has changed many times because i just cant stick to one. I am from India and my parents practice religion very seriously and so did I until I was about the age of 14 or 15. I started to separate myself from this broad view of the world that my parents had introduced me to where everything you did, it was somehow connected to religion thus, I was restricted to do so many things as a teen. I went to a school in Ozone Park, Queens and there were so many other kids from different cultures “mixing” in because they behaved and acted out like others around them, but I wasn’t the same. I had trouble fitting in so i decided to change the way I portrayed myself at school, while still partially respecting my parents and my religion at home. I learned how to code switch between different crowds and it made me think, “Where do I really belong”, I am neither fully one or the other. So I kept questioning my identity until I decided not to follow anyone in the crowd or the culture. I really could relate to what is written in the about on identities being displaced and fragmented in so many other ways, reading the “The Question of Cultural Identity” just made me aware of them.

  5. Good evening, Mr. Hall, I recently saw your interview/video “Questions of Identity” and read the beginning of “The Question of Cultural Identity” and I found these two sources very informative. Both of your works aligned with some of my core beliefs. I too, am a migrant and have come to question my cultural identity more often than not. One of my many conflicts is with cultural identity and what others have thought my identity to be is. Recently, I traveled abroad to Peru after more than 20 years. I identify as Peruvian and I speak fluent Spanish so I was very excited to go visit and wasn’t really worried about the language or culture shock when you visit other countries, however, when I had to speak Spanish it was difficult for me to keep up with the slang and terminology used. I found that the Peruvian/Spanish accent I used to have is gone and some of the natives there thought that I didn’t even speak Spanish. This situation had me question my cultural identity since I know I was born and raised in Peru and I felt as if I didn’t fit in because of how Americanized I have become or was it that Peruvian culture changed and I remained the same? Or my idea of Peruvian cultural was different than I thought the whole time?

  6. Hello Mr. Hall, I identify as both Dominican and American. However, my whole life I’ve felt as if me telling people who ask, that I identify as Dominican is rather strange, and it’s never felt completely true. Perhaps it’s because of me feeling alienated from Dominican norms because of my skin color? I remember a time in which someone asked me where I was from, to which I replied, guess. I was curious, I always find it very interesting to see what people think I am from first glance. They guessed everything from Puerto Rican to Columbian. I then say no, I’m Dominican. Their face was instantly full of shock and they immediately doubted me saying I look nothing like what a Dominican usually does. So, it’s always been rather bittersweet for me, especially considering that my Spanish isn’t too great, but I can definitely understand and read it. Sometimes I wonder if it’s just easier to say American since it is technically one of my cultural identities.

  7. In my day-to-day life sometimes I feel that despite being a person with a mixed heritage, I always find myself being perceived as either one or the other or some other race entirely. Every time I’m with a group of friends and they have cultural identities that are similar to mine I feel like I have to only show one half of my identity with others sort of like code-switching, as the other half stays on the backseat until I need to switch identities again. As well as my home life, the cultures Clash Between my Puerto Rican side and Dominican side and you get raised not having a balance of both identities you either get one of the other. Most of the time is not a negative impact on myself, however, it leaves an interesting feeling not fully experiencing your different heritages if you are a mixed child and in essence not knowing your own cultural identity. Most of the time Society picture you as one sort of image and if you stray away from an image Society will most likely abandon you. I hope one-day society won’t be like this anymore and let us fully discover who we really are and let us decide for ourselves what identity we want in our life.

  8. Mr.Hall greetings. I hope all is well. Honestly watching your interview on the questions on identity was one that produced memories of me actually trying to find myself. Growing up I’ve realized I’ve always tried to appeal to the thoughts of others, completely disregarding my own thoughts and values of myself. Living my life lost within myself because I wanted to appeal to others. While doing this it created a disconnect between not only myself but my family as well because I didn’t know who I was. This one time in particular, i stayed to myself for about a week. Giving bare minimum communication with anyone because of my conflict within. I was supposed to follow a certain guideline set in place, what my parents wanted all while trying to be the guy that was loved and appreciated by everyone.I used to be called a “player” or bad guy for my treatment towards the females around me. Building them up and breaking them down because that was what the masses were doing. I knew it was wrong but in hopes to be looked at as a higher person and placed on a pedestal with the “friends” who did the same. Causing pain and trauma to those who experienced any form of relationship with me because I didn’t want to be seen as an outcast by those I associated myself with most. So I brought pain regardless of being raised to spread love to all up until eventually what I had been distributing was finally redirected at me. This caused a spark and bred a sense of individuality within, breaking me off from the crowd I had associated with because I had realized that the person I was brought up to be was ultimately for my own betterment. I realized that with my own personal tweaks I could be my own best version of myself without needing to conform to the modern and overlooked culture that was placed in the minds of some high school teens. Watching your interview reimbursed some of the knowledge that I had lost sight of. Revealing that we have different identities varying from family culture to the modernized culture we experience in the world, but realizing we need to be the best for ourselves. So I would like to thank you and look forward to haring more about yourself and the life you’ve lived to self discovery and identification.

  9. As an immigrant, I have been in a constant struggle to find my own identity. Even though I’m a Chinese descendent of many generations born in Malaysia, many people often consider me to be Chinese from Mainland China. I share no resemblance to China-born Chinese other than my skin color and my name. I prefer American food and American Media. I was forced to socialize with them as there aren’t many Malaysians in the US even though we don’t share any common interest whatsoever. I have tried to socialize with Americans before and felt disconnected as they don’t understand my traditional background and culture. I felt like there aren’t any group of people that is close to me in term of my identity that is a mix of both American culture and Malaysian Chinese culture.

  10. Hello Mr Hall, I watched your interview video “Questions of Identity” and read ” The Question of Cultural Identity” and it was really interesting. I related to the part when you said “if you’re not that then who are you?” Being from the Caribbean myself and having to leave that culture that I knew for majority of my life to something new made me question my cultural identity. When I first came to America and started taking classes I was nervous because it was a new way of life for me. In one of my class the professor asked everyone to read individually. While everyone was reading I was nervous because the pronunciation of some words sounded different. I started wondering if they would understand what I was saying when it was my turn. I eventually got over some the cultural differences and started to adapt to the new culture and way of life and I’m much more comfortable.

  11. How’s it going Mr. Hall, I’ve never really dwelled on the topic of my cultural identities as it never seemed like an issue before. I was born and raised here in New York, so the American culture is something I grew to know for two decades. However, I was born with Korean blood, making the Korean culture my birthright. One may think that both these cultures would come into conflict with who I am as a person, but they don’t. In fact, they can help each other out. Prior to my first trip to South Korea, I learned that there was a stigma that Koreans from SK hated Koreans from the US. During my trip, there was an American who had some issues with a Korean clerk. Being on both sides of the coin, I communicated between the two. Being thanked for resolving the issue made me grateful for the two cultures I was raised with. The only conflict that I would have between the two identities would be something shallow. Like seeing a Korean person butcher a burger or an American make very bad kimchi.

  12. Good evening Mr.Hall, I identify as an American however I am of Colombian and Guatemalan descent with my father being from Guatemala and my mother being from Colombia. My whole life people looked at me and assumed I was from another country and I see why because I know I look very Hispanic however when I begin a conversation with someone they’re surprised that I don’t have an accent. My appearance is also misleading towards other people of Hispanic heritage because I often find myself in a situation where a Spanish speaker approaches me and starts speaking Spanish and I wouldn’t mind if I were completely fluent in the language however I am not and when a Spanish speaker notices that, they show a look of disappointment. Then they ask me why I don’t know the language and every time I am asked that question I have to repeat the same excuse over and over again saying “I didn’t grow up speaking Spanish”. I really embrace my American heritage however sometimes I feel like I should embrace my Hispanic heritage more because I feel it is expected of me.

  13. My identity has always been defined by the hyphen. I am an American-Pakistani with each foot in two completely different, often conflicting cultures. As you spoke about ‘Identity’ being an ever-evolving hybrid in your interview- ‘Questions of Identity’, an example comes to mind of conflicting identities. This internal conflict, in its virtue simple, yet I struggle with it every day- what should I wear today?
    Mr. Hall, you talk about identity being affected by one’s interaction with society, their surroundings. I have just moved from Pakistan to America and am just now being introduced to a completely different social dynamic. At home, I am taught to always dress modestly, shoulders and arms covered and reminded repeatedly that no outfit is complete unless shrouded with a scarf.
    However, here I find myself completely changing what I would usually choose for myself, in order to ‘fit in”. The scarf is forgotten at home, sleeves are rolled up and my paycheck is drained by buying whatever Instagram models tell me I should be wearing. Consciously or subconsciously, I am struggling with this cultural conflict but surely am evolving into another hybrid of myself with my Pakistani roots with all its values and morals, yet still branching out and adapting the American style.

  14. Hello Mr. Hall! I recently watched your interviews ,”Questions of Identity” and it made me re-evaluate the moments I had when I was perceived to possess multiple cultural identities. Having being born in New York I was surrounded by many ethnicities and many different languages that were spoken. Despite all the different ethnicities English was the dominant language. Few years ago I had went on a family trip to India for a month. I was generally fitting in with the crowd up until it came down to communicate with civilians or workers. I wasn’t very fluent in the native language they speak in India, which is Hindi. I spoke bits and pieces where my natural instinct of speaking English would kick in to try to formulate a sentence. In doing so, the person I was talking to realized I wasn’t born in India. As time went on I began to learn more about the language and by the time the trip was over I was way more fluent. At this point I realized it all takes time and practice for who you want to become and be perceived as regardless where you are from. Its what you do and believe and not what your born into.

  15. Hello Mr. Hall, how are you doing? I watched your “Questions of Identity” interview the other day on my computer, and read a portion of your book “The Questions of Cultural Identity”. The video especially caught my attention. Cultural Identity is made of many factors not only where your birthplace but also religion, language and much more. It made me remember the times I visited family in Cyprus and Greece, everyone there spoke Greek and barely any English. Although I do speak Greek fairly well it was a struggle to keep up with the conversations that I had with people. The way they spoke was different from what I learned in school, they had a dialect you could almost say, more so in Cyprus, that would take me a minute to process, and by then I’d be lost because of the speed they were speaking at. Normally in New York people say I have a Greek accent but now I when I visit family they tell me my accent is American, and people I meet call me “The American” versus what I’m called in the US. Thus creating an internal conflict making me question myself, yet still I didn’t think much about it till I saw the text and video. Could you help me understand what cultural identity really means?

  16. Good Evening Mr. Hall, I had the opportunity to watch the interview you had on cultural identities and I got to the conclusion that I can relate to it in a few ways. I traveled to my mother’s hometown in El Salvador a few years back and was confused at the time when people used to question if I was from that town because of my appearance. This is because I don’t really look like my mother or her side of the family, I resemble my dad more and he is the one that has middle eastern features, even though he is from El Salvador as well. El Salvador has a small amount of diverse ethnic minorities, that it’s almost impossible to know about your ethnic background due to the lack of information. It used to happen to me when I was little and it still happens to this day. I went to this restaurant the other day because I wanted to try some handmade noodles(laghman) and the owner of the restaurant asked me if I was Uyghur, I was confused by the question, but then he said that I resembled the people of that ethnic group. This has been one of the reasons why I’ve questioned my cultural identity, it’s something I want to deeply find out about since I don’t have much information about my ancestors. I don’t know too much about my father’s cultural background but I know there is some middle eastern heritage in it. It makes it hard for me to just identify with one certain group of people when I clearly can’t relate to it as much. Hopefully I will truly find my cultural identity sometime in the future.

  17. Through this video and some related study it make think a lot of thing about it, follow my own experience i wasn’t has these internal or external conflic very much, from my opinion the cultural identities is apart of social identity and based on the socail identities is being as under the social structure of product, because human being under certain rule can develop and sprout up more so on imperceptibly the social structure appear and the social identities or cultural identities is by human compare to each other and find different between with each other at end construct the sociological division of labor. For many people the cultural identities this given as the Mr. Stuart Hall mention on the video, for example I’m born at China and my life till now the most of time i live in the China it cause my cultural identities is from China, my insights, my thoughts, and the environment in which I lived from childhood have the same commonality as many Chinese,It reminds me who I am and where I come from. In my high school period i was came to america at the begin my cultural identities is very different with other local american the language this different and the habit is differemt i can’t even assimilate into the huge salad bowl in spite of america is Multiple culture country, looking back from the present perspective at that time i was fall into the crists of identity.In the networked world we can play different roles in the network actually in the reality we still in this way, Everyone ’s identity is changing in different situations, some people find themselves in the process, and some are lost in it.

  18. Hi Mr. Hall . First of all I want to thank you for the interview you gave about cultural identity and for sharing your thoughts about that very important topic. For me as a religious person the question of cultural identity refers to religion. Because the religion covers a big aspect in life, it creates many conflicts. For example, one time my friends wanted to go to on a trip early in the morning. I am very close with my friends and have a lot in common with them as we come from the same community. My friends are not religious and don’t always understand my religious behaviors. I told them that I would not be able to come at that hour because the time they wanted to leave in the morning was the time at which I usually pray. In the beginning it led to some discomfort but at the end we got along. I definitely felt challenged at that time with my conflict of really wanting to go with my friends, who I identify with very much, but not wanting to give up on my daily prayer.

  19. Hello Mr. Hall! It’s my pleasure to talk to you. As I watched your interview “Questions of Identity”, I wanted to describe a wedding event of a family friend I attended back in Pakistan. Because it was Muslim wedding, Islamic scholars were invited and the gathering was largely consisted of Muslim guests. Right after the dinner, the stage was set for eastern classical musicians to perform. I suddenly saw a large number of guests leaving the hall. A mutual friend was also among them. I approached him and asked in disbelief that why are you leaving so early? He said, “I’m not willing sit in the music event as it is not the right thing to do.” He left me stunned. As the performance started on the stage, a battle between multiple identities began inside myself. On one hand where my religous identity as a Muslim prohibits most forms of indulging music, on the other hand, my Pakistani background is enriched with the culture of classical, folk and qawwali music being praised and celebrated as a form of heritage. Not being able to fulfill desires of multiple identities caused dissatisfaction. I was hesitated to rejoicing the moment knowing that it is conflicting my identities.

  20. Occasionally, I feel conflicted with myself on what cultural aspects I have. My biological grandfather was Iran, yet I have no ties to that culture due to circumstances out of my control. So while I’m part Iranian genetically, I haven’t set foot in the culture. It makes my question if what I am, and what impact it would have on me to pick up aspects of the culture. Would there be any point to adopting parts of it? What would I be doing that for? Am I interested in that way of life? Would I be doing it for myself? With how often people ask questions along the lines of “Where are you from?” or “What are you?”, do I include or exclude that information? It doesn’t help that, at times, their pleasantness quickly fades if they receive an answer not fit to their expectations. I ask myself “Can’t I just be considered a human being? Something that’s multi-faceted and complex; an amalgamate of our biology and environment?” Not excluding myself, it seems that people are interested in what someone identifies as culturally, and how their identity manifests, and I dislike that, as it can be just as exclusive towards people as it can be inclusive. Yet how often do you see people ask about the experiences someone went through to become who they were? I guess my point is that cultural identity is complicated, and causes complex interpersonal and intrapersonal interactions, which can be frustrating to say the least.

  21. After reading your writings and hearing your thoughts in the interview on “Questions of Cultural Identity”, I had to stop and think that our formation of identity really is based upon three concepts as you stated in “The Question of Cultural Identity”. We are born already with a set of genetics dictating that we are for example, in my case Guatemalan and Honduran as my identity. Seeing as I was born in North America, it’s hard sometimes to know how to fit in with what society tells me I am and with what I feel. In the past its’ been a thorn in my side, trying to answer the question of “Who am I?” and “Where are you from?”. Depending on where I am at the time or who is around me my answers would change from I’m Guatemalan or Honduran to Central American or just I’m American. Was I supposed to just pick one or both or all three because from then on that would be how someone saw me and possibly place me under a certain stereotype, as my identity. So when you mentioned something similar in the interview I realized that I wasn’t the only one questioning my identity. While taking an AP Spanish course for Native speakers, we talked about language and the culture and environment being pieces of a whole that made up your identity. It caused me to realize that just because I was born here I didn’t have to shun my Central American heritage or even my American one. My identity is a product of both cultures. Yet, as you’ve said before along with other theorist, social conformity and political discussions is making others as I had, question their security in knowing who they are.

  22. Is a pleasure to be able to talk to you Mr. Hall! I was able to listen to your interview and heard your thoughts on identity which I believe are interesting and allow me to better comprehend mine. You stated that many believe that identity is something that we are born with or that it is ” engraved in our DNA”, but in reality that is not the case. This resonated with me because when I was younger I had an internal conflict that was related to my cultural identity and I didn’t know how to solve it. I had been in the USA for around a year and I had learned a lot about the differences in culture and ideas that people from different backgrounds have. This mix of cultures led me to question my own identity. I used to think that given that I was born in Ecuador I should identify myself as Ecuadorian, but I wondered if that was all there was to my identity. In reality, I didn’t know enough about the Ecuadorian culture to feel entitled to call myself Ecuadorian so I realized that it was nothing more than my nationality. As you stated, an individual’s identity is determined by the external factors which means that my identity will be determined by the ideas around me and not necessarily by the place I was born. Back then I just assumed that it was a silly question but know I have a better understanding thanks to your words. Today I have more knowledge about my country’s culture and I’m more confortable with calling myself Ecuadorian. Thank you!

  23. Hello Mr Hall, I have watched your interview “Questions of Identity” and the ideas you’ve discussed led me to take a look back at my recent trip to Bangladesh. I was born and raised in Bangladesh until the age of 14, so after I moved to New York, I’ve always taken great pride in embracing Bengali culture, and fluently speaking the language. I tried to stay in touch with my culture by participating in the cultural events, occasionally speaking Bengali outside of home but never seemed to find a friend that could speak the manner in which I spoke, or interested in going to those events. That being said, just last year I took a trip back to Bangladesh. During the trip, at every gathering, I sat quietly as my cousins and friends talked. They tried their best to bring me into the conversations but the truth was, I could barely understand most of the words they were saying. So many concepts seemed completely new to me, and so many words, food, rules were unfamiliar, it made me question whether I was really as in touch with my culture as I thought I was. It felt as though I was too foreign for home, too foreign for here, and never enough for both.

  24. Hello Mr. Stuart Hall my name is Lior Mushiev. I have experienced many external conflicts due to my cultural identity. I am Israelie, I grew up over there until the age of about 6 and moved to America. I have a multiple cultural identity. I am Israelie being born in Israel, but I am also American because I continued to grow up in America. When I moved back at the age of 18, it was difficult for me because I barely knew how to speak Hebrew. This was a conflict for me, many times people would treat me badly because I was American, and once somebody called me many names but I didn’t understand him, I only understood once my friends would explain to me what he said. This deeply upset me. When I moved to America I got bullied for not knowing how to speak English, then it flipped. I wasn’t American enough for the Americans, and I wasn’t Israelie enough for the Israelies. I felt as if I was stuck in a cross-roads, and sometimes, after all these years, I still fill as if I really am still stuck.

  25. Hello Mr. Hall. The question of cultural identity is something that I struggle with myself. Talking with my family from back home always raises the question on how I am “Americanized” now. How my Urdu accent has changed. How I am busy all the time. I think its part of growing up and being integrated into the world of responsibility. I was talking to my cousin about life here and I think I messed up a basic pronunciation of an Urdu word and he started calling me out on it. At first, I was not offended. Regardless of this incident, I have always hyphenated my identity whenever someone asks me where I am from. Pakistani-American or Lahori rather than a New Yorker now. But after it set in, it really hurt. I grew up there. I knew the culture there, the lifestyle there but now I’m being merged into this whole new world of different cultures and people. Makes me second guess myself on which end of the spectrum I belong.

  26. In this modern era, it’s hard to tell anyone’s cultural identity. But a person’s identity can be observed from that person’s name or behavior or language. If someone shares the same cultural identity it’s easy to join a community or a group. Cultural identity is something that you can change but you can not get rid of it. I think that’s the root of everything. Mr. Hall, in your text “The Question of Cultural Identity”, you said – “The cultural identity is historically, not biologically, defined. The subject assumes different identities at different times, identities which are not unified around a coherent “self”. I totally agree with that. Last year I had a chance to see the cherry blossom festival on Roosevelt Island with one of my Japanese friends where I saw a totally different culture. There, Whenever I wanted to talk with his family I told my friend that in English and he was translating into Japanese. I myself, an immigrant. I haven’t come here for a long time ago. But even when I am with my own community I use code-switching a lot. That happened because I think as you mentioned the cultural identity is not biological. So it’s changeable. A person starts to become a part of a different culture unknowingly when he/she stays for a long time with another culture or thinks it will be better to adjust in that culture.

  27. I am immigrant to this country however I did not have experience culture identity crises that much because my religion, Sikhism. It is the 5 largest religion however people have to tend to mix cultural values with other culture value from same nation. India have a home different culture identities due to great history of great kingdoms and conquer. Which have also effected my culture identity. Human has tendency to change according to the environment. Sikhism has changed all these and nobody knows what , actually our culture is. This has effected me many when I am competing with other people from same nation. I feel less knowledgeable about my own culture so I feel questioning my self what traits should I follows and rely on or stick to just my nationality as Indian. The main reason of my thinking is stereotyping by our society that we live in and make people feel like an intruder in groups of different cultures.

  28. My West Indian culture, being composed of various cultures as a unique conglomerate that’s a new culture in itself, naturally leads to questions of Identity. I once considered west Indian society to be a sort of Indian & African diaspora in terms of culture. However, this never felt quite right as centuries of separation from the parent culture has caused enough cultural evolution to the point that I would only describe myself as ‘Indo-Caribbean’ & not just Indian & the same is true for African-Caribbean people as it relates to their ancestors. I agree with the more fluid nature of culture in Stuart hall’s theory because If cultural Identity was something that we had to look back at the past for I & the entire Indo-Carribean community would just be weird, displaced Indians. I believe cultural Identity is not necessarily a box that we have to fit into but rather something that’s dynamic and constantly changing & most importantly inclusive. This is important when considering cultural intersections, these are an integral part of my culture, for example, Indo-Caribbean music(‘Chutney’ as it’s called) originally was just composed of covers of Bollywood songs, But today the genre features a significant influence from ‘Soca music'(faster beat with different production) a very different genre with a different cultural background. Intersections like these are what formed west Indian culture & even New York culture to a great extent & without a fluid model of identity, It’s hard to exist in a culture like this without feeling out of place to some extent.

  29. Hi, Mr. Hall. How are you? I watched your video on “Questions of Identity” which makes me think of an even from the day of Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving when our family comes together, my mother and my aunt cooks both American and bengali food since we are from Bangladesh. Our older family members mostly goes for the bengali food and my cousins and I mostly go for the American food and we are often asked about our choice of food.

  30. My American traits and identity had faded away when I moved to Pakistan at the age of 7. My values, cultural traits, and personality are all associated with Pakistani culture. I sometimes feel an outsider when I talk to people living here, not knowing how to react to a certain situation, what to talk and how to talk. It is easy for me to talk to people with the same cultural background because our morals somewhat are similar but when it comes to others, my mind goes blank. It happens on a regular basis when my two opposite often colliding-cultures are challenged on a small scale. My Parents come from the villages. Due to that, they have fostered me and my siblings in a somewhat between modern and traditional styles. For example, my dad, even though can fluently speak English, has never talked to me in English my whole life, and has always talked in Urdu and Panjabi( ethnic language). When I am in the outside world, there is a big cultural barrier. For example, the traditional way in Pakistan to eat rice is with bare fingers, and I myself like to eat with fingers. But in the outside world, eating with fingers seems unethical and features of the homeless. When I’m in public, I have to adjust to my eating style. It feels kind of funny since I was born here and had spent the first 7 years of my life with the American cultures but doesn’t even know how to chat with American people.

  31. A time when I experienced a conflict due to possessing many cultural identities is when I went to visit my family in Dominican Republic. Like you said with your Jamaican identity, I identify as Dominican since my family is from there. However, I don’t know much about how life is over there. Even though I visit every couple of years, and stay for a couple of weeks, I still will never understand how it is since I don’t live there. Also, my age is a big factor in how people identify me. When I visited as a child, there’s a lot that I wouldn’t be able to understand since I was so young. I recently just went to visit, and I noticed a lot more about how people live. The main difference between growing up in the U.S. and D.R. is the way of life. People in D.R. are more independent and are used to working. However, over here, it’s less dangerous, and things come easier to people. When I went to D.R., people treated me differently because they knew I was from here. They guarded me more and treated me more juvenile than I am since they think I don’t know as much. In some cases, this is good because I know I have people to protect me in times of need. But at the same time, it can get annoying because I know that I’m capable of taking care of myself but they might not believe it. Nevertheless, I know that with time and experience, my family will be less straining and I’ll be able to go about how I want to.

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