Exercise 1.3

Objective: to summarize “The Question of Cultural Identity” for a reader who has not read the essay.
Estimated time: 1 hour

Due: Wednesday, February 5th at 9:00 a.m.

Part 1—Reading and Annotation

  1. Carefully read the Citing Sources writing guide. You might also skim read / refer to Chapter 2 of They Say, I Say, especially pages 39-40, for some tips and keywords.
  2. Carefully read and annotate Sections 5 and 6 in “The Question of Cultural Identity.” Write down ideas and questions that you have in response to specific parts of these sections. As you did for Exercise 1.2, use the connections you noted when you were reading Sections 5 and 6 to identify how Hall continues to develop the concepts explored in previous sections. What elements of the rhetorical situation of the text can you identify? How do those function to help Hall develop his analysis?
  3. Read the sample summary below.

Part 2—Writing

Draft a one-paragraph summary of “The Question of Cultural Identity” following the above guidelines. Imagine that you want another student who has not read the essay to understand it. Post as a comment below and bring a printed copy of your typed summary to class with you on Wednesday.

An effective summary helps an unfamiliar reader to accurately understand the main ideas of a piece of writing. Typically, an effective summary includes:

  1. the author’s full name.
  2. the name of the text.
  3. a description of the author’s analytical project (useful verbs: explores, examines, analyzes, investigates; NOT: says, writes, is about, looks into).
  4. one or two quotes of the author’s main point (useful verbs: argues, asserts, states, proposes, hypothesizes, claims).
  5. a paraphrase/explanation/example of the author’s main point (useful phrases: for example, for instance, in other words).
  6. a brief description of how the author supports his/her main idea in the text.

Here’s an example of a summary of a 25-page essay called “The Trouble with Wilderness”:
In his essay “The Trouble with Wilderness,” William Cronon, Professor of History, Geography, and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, asks his readers to “rethink wilderness” (83). He criticizes mainstream environmentalism’s portrayal of wilderness as “sublime,” claiming that these “specific habits of thinking” have actually hindered the modern environmental movement by “underpinning other environmental concerns” (97-99). Cronon claims that this insistence on portraying the wilderness as separate from society inadvertently draws attention away from “most of our serious environmental problems” in “the landscape … that we call home” (103). Thus, he concludes that humankind should refrain from a “dualistic vision in which the human is entirely outside the natural” (97). Instead, he advocates that society be self-conscious of its actions in relation to nature everywhere, not just the locations perceived as the wilderness but also the environment that surrounds and permeates human civilization.


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29 thoughts on “Exercise 1.3

  1. In Struart Hall’s book “The Question of Cultural Identity” , Hall investigates whether there may be a “crisis of identity” in society. In the text Hall identifies three concept of cultural identity: “(a) Enlightenment subject, (b) sociological subject, and (c) post-modern subject” (Page 597). The identity that Hall argues is in argues is in crisis is the post-modern subject, this is due to the fact that that it has no one identity but several. The Enlightenment subject is where I person identity is based on the person, in the words of Hall this is more “individualist”. In the sociological subject “identity is formed in the ‘interaction’ between self and society” (Page 597). In the post-modern subject a person does not have a fixed identity. To support his claim about cultural identity Hall cites work from Giddens, Harvey, and Laclau about the post-modern subject. In addition to this he also mentions the trail of Clarence Thomas over sexual assault. This part of the text is very supportive of Hall’s claim because although the trail was about sexual assault it put everyones perceived identity into question. To even further prove his claim of the “crisis of identity” he quotes various authors, like John Lock and Raymond Williams. These authors all in some way support that there may be possibly a “crisis of identity”. At the being of section 2.1 Hall begins to refer to the “crisis of identity” as de-centering the subject. He says “I shall offer a brief sketch of five great advances in the social theory and the human sciences which have occurred in” (Page 606). The five major de-centerings that follow all in some way changed who we may perceive ourselves or our cultural identities.

  2. In Hall’s text, “The Questions of Cultural Identity,” Stuart Hall, A Jamaican born British Marxist sociologist, political activist, and cultural theorist analyzes Cultural Identity as a whole and what makes up an individuals identity. Cultural Identity is the feeling or belonging to a particular culture associated with the growing up and becoming a separate person with its personality. Stuart Hall asks the audience to reconsider the factors of Cultural Identity because of how unique it is to each individual. Cultural Identity is a vast topic that has many elements that characterizes a person. “The very process of identification, through which we project ourselves into our cultural identities, has become more open-ended, variable, and problematic(Page 598).” Hall argues that identifying ones cultural identity has endless variables. For instance, I consider myself as a muslim, that is Afghan,and etc. This shows how I have many variables that make up my Cultural Identity, because I belong to a particular culture yet I consider myself to identify under more categories as well. He also explains why this topic is so problematic due to the many variables. “The arguement we will be considering here is that, in fact, national identities are not things we are born with, but are formed and transformed within and in relation to representation.” The author claims that identities are formed throughout time, and it is not natural-born. The way things are represented is how one knows their national identity. For example, I know what it is to be British because of the way people from Britain are represented.

  3. In “The Question of Cultural Identity,” Stuart Hall explores as mentioned in the title cultural identity and if there truly is a crisis of identity in late-modernity. As well as what is at stake when cultural identities are considered, causing society to potentially pick between them. One of Hall’s main ideas is that we never truly have one perfect identity, they’re constantly in flux whether it be from outside pressure like society or from those you surround yourself with daily. Hall states that there are 3 concepts/subjects of cultural identity. The Enlightenment, sociological, and the post-modern, in which he believes the crisis lies. (Pg. 596) The Enlightenment based on the conception of the person as a fully centered, unified individual being born with a certain identity and it remaining continuos through the individual’s life. (Pg. 597) Sociological being the connection essentially between an individual and significant others (society). (Pg. 597) Lastly, post-modern, the one in which Hall believes there may be a crisis of identity. In this subject, we project ourselves into our cultural identities and in Hall’s words it’s “become more open-ended, variable, and problematic.” Throughout the rest of the sections, Hall provides evidence to support his ideas by describing how national cultures, globalization, community, and ethnicity affect the post-modern identity.

  4. In this article “The Question of Cultural Identity” Stuart Hall, a Jamaican-born British Marxist sociologist, cultural theorist and political activist urges us to engage in a rhetorical conversation on cultural identity. Hall questions whether a “crisis of identity” exists, what it consists of and in which directions it is moving (page 596). Hall, in a conversational style gives us content to develop our own opinion and gives us a frame work in which our conversation can take place. Hall, for the purposes of exposition gives us three very different concepts of identity: Enlightenment subject, sociological subject and post-modern to develop the argument (page 597). A wise teacher once said you can’t argue about who the best basketball player ever is if you don’t know anything about it. So, Hall through repetition and works from other great philosophers, linguists, theorists, etc. gives us the frame work (stats), the content we need to make our own argument (section 2-6). Hall doesn’t tell us who is wrong or right or even his own opinion just urges us to continue the conversation.

  5. In the book “the question of cultural identity” published by Stuart Hall, Hall looks into the fact. there may be a decline in Cultural identities In today’s society. Referring to the text, Hall explores some of the questions regarding cultural identity and tries to identify this sort of “crisis of identity”, “if it exists, what it consists of, and in which directions it is moving.”(pg. 596). Concluding his intro paragraph Hall summarizes The only time identity becomes an issue is only when it’s in a state of crisis, which in turn causes doubt amongst us and leaves us with uneasy feelings about ourselves. Starting off as the catalyst for the tone of the book, he asserts the three main concepts of identity “ those of the Enlightenment subject, Sociological subject, and the postmodern subject.”(pg. 597). In order for the reader to better understand these Concepts halt examines each concert individually and explains them in Much greater detail. The Enlightenment subject referring to individual ideals, sociological referring to the values that we believe in as a society, and finally the postmodern subject which explores the identities of people after World War II in the 1950s and is still trying to figure themselves out. These three Concepts are really important as in section 2 Hall looks into the postmodern subject more thoroughly as he claims this is the biggest era when dealing with the crisis of identity. Through the use of his own thoughts and questions, he is able to support his main idea for the text as even he isn’t sure Of what truly is the right answer individuality was “ “lived”,” experienced”, and “ conceptualized” differently.”(pg.602).What was quoting many famous terrorists and authors such as Raymond Williams, John Locke, and Karl Marx and truly captures the idea of many differentiating opinions regarding this subject and there is not one absolute idea. What Proceeds onward is how we could change this idealistic view by looking towards other aspects of cultural identity as more decades go by where people are accepted and even learn “to speak two cultural languages, to translate and negotiate between them” and “ inhabit two identities” that they share within themselves and others around them.

  6. In his writing, “The Question of Cultural Identity”, Stuart Hall, sociologist, theorist, professor and author, explores some of the questions we have about cultural identity and whether a “crisis of identity” (597) exists. To do so, he first brings three very different concepts of identity: the Enlightenment subject, the sociological subject and the post-modern subject. Each idea shows how the identity has changed over the years in every era. He then expands on the post-modern concept and talks about national identity and how globalization can have a positive impact on it, or can possibly be a threat to that identity. As part of his analysis, he quotes many theorists, philosophers and professors in order to show various perspectives of the argument from different points of view.

  7. In the text, “The Question of Cultural Identity” written by Stuart Hall, talks about the topic of identity. He also mentions about the term “crisis of identity”, he describes this term as an internal and external conflict. Hall also mentions that globalization contributes to the de-centering of identities. He proves his points and information by citing the works of cultural theorists and important figures of historical eras like the Enlightenment. For example, he justifies globalization to being the cause of a de-centering identities by stating, “As a tentative conclusion it would appear, then, that globalization does have the effect of contesting and dislocating the centered and “closed” identities of a national culture”(pg.628). He also says that globalization creates new identities. But later, he refutes this idea by explaining that there could be other factors that lead to the shifting of cultural identities like tradition and translation. Hall mentions that identity is created to a form in which we want to be seen. For example, Hall states, “Identity arises, not so much from the fullness of identity which is already inside us as individuals, but from a lack of wholeness which is “filled” from outside of us, by the ways we imagine ourselves to be seen by others”(pg 608). This shows that identity is what we present ourselves as in the outside world.

  8. In his essay, “The Question of Cultural Identity” Stuart Hall, a British cultural theorist, explores the evolution of the concept of ‘Identity’ that has eventually led to a “crisis of identity”(596). He introduces three main concepts that establish the framework of his analysis, that are: the enlightenment subject, sociological subject, and postmodern subject. Throughout his essay, he then builds upon these concepts by using theories from different philosophers and events in history to explain his argument. He urges students and other cultural theorists to form their own opinions on whether a ‘crisis’ exists today. Moreover, he investigates how the influence of Globalization and Marxism has caused ‘cultural homogenization’(622), which continuously causes the ‘de-centering’ (606) of human identity. In other words, how the influence of different cultures interacting within modern society has resulted in identity becoming an ever-evolving “hybrid”(617). As Hall states, “Identity is a movable feast”(598), it is up to us to decide if this ‘feast’ is the liberation of our identity or the instigator of a ‘crisis’.

  9. In Stuart Halls book “The Question of Cultural Identity”, Hall talks about cultural identity, as it states in the title, and whether there is a crisis of identity in society. In the text, Hall doesn’t state what cultural identity is, he just explains that the question of “identity” is being debated in social theory. Hall also states what the three concepts of identity are, he says “(a) Enlightenment subject, (b) sociological subject, and (c) post-modern subject” (pg. 597). Hall then explains these three concepts throughout the reading. Cultural identity is a very well-known concept that categorizes a person within different cultures, however some people use cultural identity to categorize themselves as several identities. “The very process of identification, through which we project ourselves into our cultural identities, has become more open-ended, variable, and problematic.” (Page 598) hall basically explains that people begin to categorize themselves as several identities which can lead to them being contradictory or unresolved. Hall shows that he supports his ideas by providing explanations and evidence about how todays cultures, different ethnicities and the world affects the post-modern identity.

  10. The book: “the question of cultural identity” this a fantastic book it lead you into a relatively strange and unknown world with regard to you, through read the book can entirly you open thinking and curiosity, to get ideas and writing strategies and questioning the problems in the book.” Stuart Hall,the authoer of the book,father of Contemporary Cultural Studies,Professor of British Sociology,Cultural theorist,Media theorist,thinker.Cultural identities this a type of Individuals and groups who has same culture as well as same class,gender, same live area,nation and history,according these cause one will recognize each other even strangers.hall’s there not just given a conclusion for us he threw a question for every audience that:”What do we mean by a “crisis of identity”? what recent developments in modern societies have precipitated it? what form does it take? what are its potential consequences? (pg 596) a bouch of question for the reader to think about it.We will think about these issues while reading this time, first,the identity is a kind of cognition this kind of cognition may be active cognition it may be passive.When a person’s vision, knowledge system, life experience and experience are relatively limited often his / her “identity” is “informed”.At this time, “identity” is subordinate to “culture”, and often there is little room for choice, and you don’t even realize that “you have a choice.”
    The “identity” of passive cognition,under the same circumstances the happiness of life experience may be worse.When a person’s vision, knowledge system, experience and experience are rich and his / her “identity” may be the “identity” after self-selection.hall use his study to sum up three concepts of identity:those of the (a) Enlightenment subject,(b)sociological subject,(c)post-modern subject.(pg 597) these three concept is depend on the judging from historical time,It elaborates that the cultural identity is unified from the beginning to split into inside and outside. Finally, with the scientific progress of industrialization, the world changes from agricultural civilization to industrial civilization and finally enters the information age and diversification. “The previous section qualified the idea that national identities have ever been as unified or homegeneous as they are represented to be.(pg 616)It is true that there is no unified identity in the nature of the state, because the state is a collection of multicultural identities. The identity of the state is as diverse as the person who owns it. The old identity disappears by constantly changing the new identity. The author hall use the text to let audience relize and mention to these kind of idenitity question everyone don’t have a same answer,i think that is idea belong the “the question of cultural identity”.

  11. In Stuart Hall’s text “Cultural Identity” Stuart Hall explores the concept of identity crisis in post modernity and the lack of unification among individuals. Hall then proceeds to list 3 concepts the constitutes an identity being the enlightenment subject, sociological subject, and the post modern subject. Hall explains that sociological subject as a “bridge gap between the inside and outside” of an individual and states ” identity is formed in the interaction between self and society. The subject still has an inner core or essence that is the real me.”(pg 597) By making these statements Stuart Hall emphasizes the influence the outer world has on shaping an individual. Hall explains the enlightenment subject as a concept where the subject was able to think for himself stating ” the enlightenment subject was based on a conception of the human person as a fully centered , unified individual, endowed with capacities of reason. “(pg 597). Essentially the enlightenment serves as a way for the subject to think for himself and embrace secularism. Hall then argues that the post-modern subject is where the process of finding a self identity becomes an issue stating “The fully unified , completed, secure, and coherent identity is a fantasy.” (pg 598) and how it is “conceptualized as have no fixed essential identity.” Hall uses these 3 concepts to convey his opinion on cultural identity and gives readers something to think about.

  12. In “The Question of Cultural Identity” by Stuart Hall, a cultural theorist, political activist and sociologist, the topic of “Crisis of Identity” is explored. Hall introduces us to three concepts of identity in section one. They are: The Enlightenment Subject, Sociological Subject and Post-Modern Subject (page 597). In sections 2-6 Hall expands on these three concepts explaining to us what each mean and discusses Globalization and identity in the Post-Modern world. Hall analyses real life context when he discussed what happened in 1991 between Clarence Thomas, a black judge and Anita Hill, a former colleague of Thomas (page 600).
    He argues that we never had only one identity and that identity is ever-changing.
    Hall uses examples from many different philosophers like Karl Marx, Raymond Williams, Descartes, among others to expand on his theory. The purpose of Stuart Hall’s work is not to tell us what to think but to allow us to form questions and opinions of our own.

  13. In his work, “The Question of Identity”, Stuart Hall, the Jamaican-born British cultural theorist, questioned the fundamental idea of identity, more specifically “cultural identity in late modernity” (596). Hall outlined three major subjects: The Enlightenment, sociological, and post-modern, while exploring the subject at hand (597). The first major subject of philosophy, The Enlightenment, came from Rene Descartes to link both the mind and matter; thus, the “Cartesian subject” capable of thinking and reasoning (603). The second subject, sociological, came from many sociological aspects, e.g. Marxism, Jacques Lacan expanding on the idea from Sigmund Freud’s subconscious with childhood development, true meaning and value of words in a language, Collectivism, and Feminism (606-611). The third and most prominent subject, post-modern, in which globalization is tightening the time-space (619). The tightening of time-space is causing mass migration to the west (626) which strengthens nationalism in fear of losing their “true identity” (628) and creates a new identity of “Hybridity” (629).

  14. In the text, ” The Question of Cultural Identity” by Stuart Hall, a Jamaican-born British Marxist sociologist, he discusses the topic of identity and whether there is a “crisis of identity” (page 597) or not. In doing so, Hall lays out a foundation of three concepts of identity, in that they are: 1) The Enlightenment Subject 2) The Sociological Subject and 3) The Post-Modern Subject. Through these three initial constructs of identity that Hall loosely defines is how he has chosen to delve into this so called “crisis of identity” theory, and thus sets a notably conservative yet palatable tone of whether there truly is some semblance of crisis affixed to identity. Hall also however, dictates at the end of this particular section, that despite creating fixtures for each subject, each of his explanations are “to some extent, simplifications” (page 598). In what feels as though he completely debases his entire introductory argument with this simple phrase, Hall actually creates a more coherent position based on mere simplifications of his own perspective of identity and does so throughout the following sections. As an example, by posing such confident simplifications, his following idea about the question of the national identity seems rather featherweight at best, where he claims how “National identities represented precisely the result of bringing two halves of the national equation together – offering both membership of the political nation-state and identification with national culture” (page 616). By previously conceptualizing three loose concepts of identity, he then refers to these simplifications as a way to garner more structure towards his following idea about one’s national identity and whether the” crisis of identity” spreads through to other characteristics of identity. Essentially, whether to summarize that Hall’s entire argument is in the end baseless, or is proved on no grounds, is exactly how Hall’s argument is purposely structured, in that he incites his readers to critically analyze his own words as if there are more so to be topics of discussion rather than mere words on a canvas.

  15. “The Question of Cultural Identity” by Stuart Hall is a text renown for its broad interpretation and astute analysis of the modern identity. Hall introduces his readers to the three main concepts of identity that he emphasizes on and mentions throughout the entirety of the text; the Enlightenment, the sociological, and the post-modern concept. Frequently Hall talks about how the identity of an individual and how they perceive themselves oscillate throughout their lifetime. Also how others collectively or as a social structure perceives a certain individual, influencing their cultural identity. Stuart Hall mentions other acclaimed figures in his text which he affiliates his own work with and explains how their understandings and research correspond to Hall’s. Furthermore throughout his text Stuart Hall gives his interpretation and analysis of the cultural identity of an individual in many factors that are related in today’s world both socially and politically. His rhetorical writing techniques gives readers the sense of thought and self awareness of their perspectives on cultural identity. Finally, identity of nationality and race is asserted as an identity that is in constant conflict with oneself, a thought that leaves readers and philosophers always pondering about.

  16. In the book, “The Question of Cultural Identity”, Jamaican-born British Marxist sociologist and cultural theorist, Stuart Hall analyzes cultural identity in post-modernity to assess whether a “crisis of identity” truly exists. He question the direction in which indentity is declining and perhaps its consequences in modern society. (596) He rhetorically analyzes the conceptualization of identity from the Enlightenment of the 18th century of individual as fully unified subject to the sociological subject in modernity as the interaction between self and society. (597) He, then, examines the post modern subject as having no fixed identity. Hall calls it movable feast” in regards to it rapid and continuous change. (598) These identities were to an extent were shaken by the globalization as time-space compression changed the dynamics of the world and promoted cultural homogenization. (619) Diversity and pluralism were the driving force as migration post World War II was significant. (626-627) Hall states that, “People belonging to such cultures of hybridity have to renounce the dream or ambition of rediscovering any kind of lost cultural purity, or ethnic absolutism.” (629) In the end, he examines the fundamentalism in context of the “resurgence of ethnicity.” (631) Hall mentions Marx, Williams, Descartes, Freud, Harvey and many other sociologists and theorists with respect to their arguments in the book in order to better dissect the topic. Hall also asserts that these ideas are open to debate and that there are no such concrete evidences to draw any final verdict.

  17. In his text “The Question of Cultural Identity, Stuart Hall, A British Sociologist who originates from Jamaica, introduces the argument that old identities established in the past are declining, causing new identities to rise and the modern individual to fragment as a unified subject (596). Hall’s goal in this excerpt is to see if this so-called “crisis of identity” exists, what it consists of, and what it’ll be moving forward (596). However, Hall states that his writing is very opinionated due to how ambiguous the subject at hand is and he encourages the reader to think for themselves as they read his text. He introduces three concepts of identity: the Enlightenment subject, the sociological subject, and post-modern subject, the latter being his main subject.(597). Hall uses past events like the Clarence Thomas scandal and refers to past scholars like Descartes in order to explain these three subjects and how they relate to the “crisis of identity”.

  18. Stuart Hall’s “The Question of Cultural Identity” creates a ground basis and creates a rhetorical conversation between article and reader, expressing the basis for people exploring and seeking to find themselves. The article focuses on 3 main focal points which are The Enlightenment, The sociological aspect and the The postmodern theory. Hall states in his writing on page 614 “It is there from birth, unified and continuous, “changeless” throughout all the changes, eternal” speaking on the role history has on identity, but what’s interesting is how he draws back to the fact that their are multiple things that can alter a persons perception on oneself but it all double backs on the person, proving that it’s ultimately our decision in the end when deciding who we are. Hall also shines light on each individual focal point in order for people to understand the depth in which it takes to become true to oneself. Concluding that in order for a person to become them self, they take in considerations from varying outlets or they find them self through what they feel internally disrearding external influences.

  19. The text “The Question of Cultural Identity” by Stuart Hall, revolves around the idea of the fragmentation of identity or as he calls it, “crisis of identity” (596). This idea of a crisis is further developed by Hall as he introduces subjects into his work. These subjects are divided into three categories, the Enlighten subject, the sociological subject, and the post-modern subject. Through these subjects he is able to explore the ideas that people from different eras had about identity and how those ideas relate to the current dilemma of identity fragmentation. Through this process the reader is able to understand that an individual’s identity is not fragmented given that, it was never “centered” in the first place. Although this is not stated directly by the author, it is understood when he sates that “…national cultures help to “stich up” differences into one identity” (618). Thus, with this and other examples it is implied that the main idea of this text is to allow the reader to reach the consensus that identity was never “centered” given that it is differences that create identities are what make us who we are. This idea is not answered with a simple response, instead, Hall uses his ability to talk to the reader in order to pose questions that the reader then must think about as he/she is reading the material being presented. This allows the reader to remain engaged which creates a continuous reading flow that leads to better understanding of the text. The author also uses the words and works of many scholars to present us with different views on his, the author’s, idea which ultimately prove or support his view.

  20. In Stuart Hall’s piece, “The Question of Cultural Identity”, he investigates why there is a “identity crisis” in present society. There are three main concepts of identity “ those of the Enlightenment subject, Sociological subject, and the postmodern subject.”(pg. 597). His main argument is that no one has one individual identity. Everyone participating in society must have brushed on the fact that they are having multiple identities while considering the situation they are in. “As a tentative conclusion it would appear, then, that globalization does have the effect of contesting and dislocating the centered and “closed” identities of a national culture”(pg.628). In order for the reader to better understand these Concepts halt examines each concert individually and explains them in Much greater detail. Throughout the passage he keeps encourages the readers to take everything with a grain of salt and to make their own theories.

  21. “The Question of Cultural Identity” by Stuart Hall, a Jamaican-born British Marxist who is recognized for being a sociologist and cultural theorist, provides questions and discussions over the rhetorical theory of a “crisis of identity”(597) in post-modernity. Closely examining the three concepts that play a major role when identifying the meaning of identity, Stuart Hall questions the idea of a “crisis of identity” even existing as sociologist are of the opinion that the concept of identity is “…too complex, too underdeveloped and too little understood in contemporary social science to be definitively tested.”(596) Hall states that identity itself can be generalized into three different concepts of identity, leading to changing views over cultural identity. Starting with the Enlightenment Subject, Hall summarizes it to be “The essential center of the self was a person’s identity.”(597). This is also under the opinion of what identity should be at the
    time such as the Latin philosopher René Descartes who was on of the tipping points in self-identification individually as he is most famously known for ” I think, therefore I am.” He follows the subject of Enlightenment with the Sociological subject in the introduction. Mentioning key figures in sociology who believed in identity being interactive (G.H. Mead, C.H. Cooley) he goes on to say that identity in this context is how we align our self (inside) to fit in with society or a culture (outside). This theme is echoed throughout the writings. Last, we have the post-modern subject, the idea of having “no fixed, essential, or permanent identity.”(598) Stuart Hall demonstrates the shifting complexity of cultural identity and social norms by using examples such as Anita Hill and her various identities along with the subject of language, comparing its structure to identity by bringing up the arguments of structural linguistics Saussure.

  22. In his book ‘The Question of Cultural Identity’, Stuart Hall, a Jamaican-born British Marxist sociologist, cultural theorist and political activist, introduces readers to the notion ”Crisis of Identity” that has formed with the belief that the “old identities which stabilized the social world for so long are in decline, giving rise to new identities and fragmenting the modern individual as a unified subject” (596). In order to explore this notion and examine whether this crisis truly exists, Hall provided an exposure to three concepts of identity, which includes the Enlightenment subject, sociological subject, and post-modern subject. To provide the students a basic context, he referred back to multiple philosophers and cultural theorists such as Karl Marx, John Locke, Sigmund Freud, who had installed some insight on this topic. He then analyzed their perspectives and then proceeded to arrange his own viewpoint on the matter. The essence of his argument revolved around the idea that in the enlightenment era, one’s identity was singular, given by circumstances, permanent. Overtime, with the advancement of many aspects of society, one’s identity or ‘sense of self’ was left open- ended to be questioned, inconsistent, unresolved. Through the questions that raised from several political activities, national identity, social standards, globalization, tradition, people in the post-modern world began to re-evaluate their coherence, leading to “de-centering individuals both from their place in the social and cultural world, and from themselves” (597), contributing to the crisis of identity. On all accounts, as Hall stated his stance on the matter, he leaves this subject to be responded, contested, or simply conversed about by the readers.

  23. In Stuart Hall’s text “The Question of Cultural Identity” a Jamaican born British Marxist who identifies as a sociologist and cultural theorist discusses and examines the topic of cultural identity and if there is a “crisis of identity” this is outlined in three major categories; The Enlightenment, sociological and post-modern. “The enlightenment subject was based on a conception of the human person as fully centered and, unified individual, endowed with the capacities of reason, consciousness, and action, whose center consisted of an inner core which emerged when the subject is born, and unfolded with it, while remaining essentially the same…”. In this quote the author proposes that one’s cultural identity is created once you are born this gives everyone their individualistic personalities that partly identifies them. He supports his concept of the crisis of identity by first speaking of how a subjects identity first comes to be.

  24. In his text “The Question of Cultural Identity”, Stuart Hall, a Jamaican-born British Marxist sociologist, cultural theorist, and political activist, asks his readers to “explore some of the questions about cultural identity in late modernity and to asses, whether a ‘crisis of identities’ exists, what it consists of, and which directions it is moving” (596). He also distinguished three different conceptions of identity. They are “Enlightenment subject, Sociological subject, and the post-modern subject” (597). He also proposes a particular version of “The human subject” (602). He also argued about “discourses of modern thought and the processes which shaped modernity” (602). He also talked about globalization, time-space compression, ethnicity. He wanted us to understand how people identify themselves. He claims that it is important to understand what identity is.

  25. In the article, “The Question Of Cultural Identity” by Stuart Hall, he investigates that there perhaps might be a “crisis of identities” in our world. In order to discover our identities he focused on three major ideas which are the enlightenment, sociological, and the post-modern subject. Hall states that “Such people retain strong links with their places of origins and their traditions, but they are without the illusion of a return to the past”(Pg 629). In other words, some individuals ignore their ancestors’ identities and decide to identify themselves based on the culture that they get surrounded by. We all come from different backgrounds but that doesn’t mean we can identify ourselves as something else. He mentions other theorists to explain why there really isn’t one final answer, he came up with these ideas so we can expand our knowledge and create our own theories.

  26. “The question of cultural identity” is a book written by Stuart Hall, a Jamaican-born British Marxist sociologist, cultural theorist and political activist. Hall, in his book underlined three basic conception of identity: Enlightenment subject, Sociological subject, and post-modern subject. He related these three conceptions to Identity. Hall perceived Cultural identity in a intellectual and theoretical way that amazed many people and have diverted their conception to the definition of identity differently. Through his book, he gradually explains how the personality each and every person has, is been influenced the society and environment we have been nurtured. Through reading his books, the reader would view identity as whole new way

  27. SUMMARY; Stuart hall the question on Cultural Identity

    In the text “The Question of Cultural Identity” the author and theorist by the name of Stuart Hall, offers a deep exploration and assessment of the debated topic of cultural identity and whether or not a crisis exists when one starts questioning their identification with the rest society “what it consists of and in which directions it is moving (p.596)”. Hall claims that identity has and still is subjected to many changes that take place in the course of time, and it is unique to every individual, which makes it very problematic. “The very process of identification, through which we project ourselves into our cultural identities, has become more open-ended, variable, and problematic (p. 598).” “Those aspects of our identities which arise from our “belonging” to distinctive ethnic, racial, linguist, religions, and above all, national cultures. (p.596)”. Hall provides this evidence to support the idea of why identity is problematic, by describing how national cultures, globalization, community, and ethnicity affect the post-modern identity. Hall identifies three concepts of cultural identity “A) Enlightenment subject, B) sociological subject, and C) post-modern subject” (page 597). Mainly focusing on the post-modern concept, he claims that this subject is where the crisis of identity seems to be located, and it is mainly due to this concept of modernity. Hall`s clever technique is that he outlines each paragraph of the text and explains it, and he adds context and detail and the goal of incorporating it. Hall wants his audience to reads this text with openness. He doesn’t offer a definitive answer to the question of identity, however, he expresses his own thoughts, in which he not only adds to his ability to support the main idea but he gifts the reader the opportunity to question furthermore, and elaborate more ideas to the topic of cultural identity.

  28. In his essay “The Question of Cultural Identity,” Stuart Hall, cultural theorist explores what the “crisis of identity” is, and whether it exists in our contemporary society (596). Firstly he introduces to the reader three definitions of identities (597). “The Enlightenment subject was based on a conception of the human person as a fully centered, unified individual… The essential center of the self was a person’s identity” (597). Saying that identity wasn’t defined based on the place of birth or national origins but rather the conscious or soul of a person was his/her identity. The second definition was the sociological subject. The sociological idea was the connection of the internal and external ideas, between the personal a public ideas of a person. Society is influencing him to behave in a certain way and he responds in his way. This definition states that identity is the connection of a person and his society not just him. The third definition is the post-modern subject, stating that there is no fixed identity of a person (598). “Identity becomes a “moveable feast” formed and transformed continuously” (598). That our identities are always changing based on our surroundings. Based on these contested definitions of identity, Hall analyzes whether or not we have a “crisis of identity”.

  29. In the text, “The Question of Cultural Identity” by Stuart Hall, Hall is a cultural theorist and a sociologist who was born in Jamaica and lived in London. In this text, he analyzes whether or not the “crisis of identity” exists in late-modernity by exploring some of the questions of cultural identity (596). He talks about the three concepts of identity to show his groundwork upon which he builds his analysis on the crisis of identity. He also mentioned about the modern identities which are being “de-centered” which is “dislocated or fragmented” (596). Throughout the whole essay Hall says that we never had a stable identity to begin with and which is why we should be asking different questions.

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