Essay about Cultural Influences on Identity Development
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The question we are answering is, how does culture influence identity development? By the end of this paper you would be able to conclude that no matter what the surroundings of an individual is it will have some sort of an effect on either the physical or mental aspects of an individual. In order to answer this question we must understand how identity is developed, what culture consists of and concluding how culture influences identity development.
First and Foremost in order to know what motivates identity development we must understand how identity is developed. Identity development starts with infants discovering of self which continues throughout childhood and become the focus of adolescence. According to Erik Erikson the goal of…show more content…
During childhood, self – awareness continues both growing and changing. Children at young Ages describe themselves in terms of observable characteristics and behaviours, including physical attributes. Between ages six and twelve, children begin to include less concrete aspects of the self in their descriptions. School aged children talk about Their feelings (“I love my cat” ) and how they fit into their social world (“I’m the best defence on my team”).The cognitive, physical and social changes of adolescence allow the teenager to develop identity that will serve as a basis for their adult lives. In relation to Erikson this part of identity development would fall s under the identity versus role confusion stage, adolescents description of self-expands to include personality traits (“I’m positive”) and attitudes (“I don’t like stuck – up people”). The emergence of abstract reasoning allows adolescents to think about the future and experiment with different identities.
James Marcia a clinical and developmental psychologist also has an interpretation of identity development. He theorized that identity development involves two steps. First, adolescent must depart from childhood beliefs and start to explore alternatives for identity development. Second, adolescents, make a commitment as to their individual identity in that Area. Marcia Identified four “identity statuses” to describe
Identity formation is a universal term for young girls and boys who are trying to create themselves once they have that self awareness concept. There are many experiments that show media, peer pressure, and environmental factors contribute towards alternating a person’s identity. Natural observation and the longitudinal study can show the changes that form when a person encounters a social environmental factor that can alter their own identity which; it could be through friends, pressure to fit in, or celebrity envy.
Two research methods that would prove to show that media, peer pressure, and social environmental factors do influence identity formation would be studying a participant over a long period time and studying a person in a natural setting with out them knowing. For example doing a longitudinal study on a participant will show the influences of different factors that will have on a certain participant through out their development. Doing this kind of research method will show the progress of changes in that participant’s life and will show the researcher the affect it has on her or his identity development.
For example a young girl who always watches celebrities through out her childhood and into her teen years will show an affect on her identity rather then someone who is taught on real life and how people are suppose to look like or act. “Adolescents who watched music videos were more likely to recognize and relate to the socially competent behaviors demonstrated in the music videos than to the negative images or entertainment only value of the video (Te’Neil Lloyd 2000). ” Using a natural setting can show researchers if participants act differently in real life after watching certain movies or shows.
Without the participant knowing they are being studied they will show a natural behavior and most likely send out a false identity after being exposed to those social media factors. The downside about using these two research methods can be both participants can drop out anytime they want. Such as using the longitudinal study the young participant can drop out of the study anytime of his/her life. To make sure this study is ethical is to have a parent’s permission for their child to participate in this study over their entire development span.
For the natural setting observation study the researchers cannot talk to whoever they are observing which can lead to involvement towards the study and interrupting the natural behavior. To make sure this type of research study is ethical is to not use names and make sure other people cannot find these participants in their community. Or they can tell their participants that they want to observe them, but not tell them when and do the observation randomly. Overall identity formation can be manipulated at anytime in the child’s development stages; media, magazines, and their own peer group can change how they view themselves.
Using a natural setting for observation, and longitudinal study can show researchers that social factors and environmental factors can influence identity formation. Overall social media, celebrity shows, and environmental factors have a heavy impact on our lives each day. Many young girls and boys try to find their own medium with all these barriers to overcome with trying to fit in at school or watching TV shows that show unrealistic behaviors and appearances for the real world. “Teenaged adolescents watch more movies than any other segment of the population.
More than 4 million adolescent girls monthly purchase magazines such as Seventeen and Sassy (Evans et aL, 1991), and three-fourths of white females aged 12-14 read at least one magazine regularly (Klein et al. , 1993). Add to this videos, books, and newspapers, and the total amounts to a significant part of the daily experience of adolescents (Jensen Arnett 1995). ” This fact shows many girls and boys are exposed to a lot of media, gossip magazines and movies that many people envy for their life and identity to be like.