Identity: Specifically the Native American Essay

Submitted By danielvaughn21
Words: 1789
Pages: 8

Midterm Essay
NAS 101
2/28/14

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines identity as “the qualities, beliefs, etc., that makes a particular person or group different from others”. Identity is a very important part of who an individual is and how they grow throughout their life. Identity is important because it heavily influence an individuals sense of morals. Identity can also give a sense of inner peace to the beholder. A sense of identity that can come from many things, such as a cultural heritage or a community that one lives in. There are two widely accepted types of identity. These are internal and external. Internal identity is who we are with respect to the individual characteristics that define us. This includes physical, emotional, intellectual, or spiritual characteristics such as talents, capabilities, and personal preference. External identity is how we identify ourselves with respect to the definitions that are passed down or bestowed upon us. This includes nationality, race, religion and gender. There is really no simple way to state what ones identity is, as there are numerous factors ranging from obvious to subtle that go towards the identity of an individual. In a world that is constantly adapting and changing it is getting harder and harder to see where one culture ends and another begins. As cultures continue to spread and collide in this world, they either start to mix to create a new culture or they split to form a new cultures. In either situation the new cultures have bits and pieces from the preceding culture(s). This makes in increasingly hard to find where one culture ends and the next culture begins. I identify myself most simply as a white, lower middle-class, heterosexual, male. I don't identify myself by where my ancestors came from, or the bloodlines passed on to me. This is because there are too many different bloodlines passed down from my parents. There were no strong traditions passed down from generation to generation because in each generation the lines got a little more diluted. Even so most of these bloodlines happen to be white/European, but that's not the reason I identify myself this way. I don't really identify strongly with much of anything. Most of the identifiers I listed earlier are based on physical things such as my skin color, the amount of money my family makes annually, and my gender. I believe the reason that I don't identify with the culture that could have been passed down to me is because of the way I was raised. In my household growing up it was always more important for you to stand for things that made sense to you, not necessarily the same viewpoints as your predecessors had. We did have christian traditions, but it wasn't important that you identified with the christian belief system unless you decided that was right for you. As previously stated, the reason I believe I identify this way due more the the society, and household, in which I was raised. I believe identity plays a role, but it is not on the forefront as much as it may have been in the past. I believe that more prevalent in the formation of identity in this day and age is the culture or society that you live in. Factors such as your family's financial standing, the school you go to, and the community that you grow up in has a much larger role in the development to the majority of young people these days than the history of where your family came from. I believe this is so partly due to the increasingly strong presence the internet plays in the life of the children today. It has opened the possibility for kids to identify with new things that their differ from what their family or people in their communities identify with. This differs from older times where within the community was where all the teaching, playing, working occurred. In these times the elders of the community would pass down their knowledge to the younger generation. With that the younger generation would be instilled…