Writing a Cultural Identity Essay

Table of contents

Defining Cultural Identity

Cultural identity is a complex concept. It can certainly relate to your ethnic heritage, but it can also relate to the cultural and socioeconomic environment in which you have been raised and those groups you choose to associate with. 

Cultural identity is, above all, a unique thing for each individual.

Thus, members of the same ethnicity may choose to be parts of very diverse groups. Or they may choose to have a primary identity with members of that ethnic group and adopt all of the cultural, social, and belief systems that are predominant within that group. 

Cultural identity provides us all with a sense of belonging and includes at least the following factors:

  • Ethnicity
  • Religion
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Locale
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Personal history
  • Sub-groups within a culture
  • Job/career

If you are going to write a cultural identity essay, you will need to think about all of the groups you are a part of and how those have contributed to that identity.

Sample Cultural Identity Essay

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Potential Cultural Identity Topics

If you are struggling with how to write a cultural identity essay, understand this: this type of essay is essentially autobiographical (or biographical, if written by someone else), but it does not have to encompass your entire cultural identity. In fact, you will want to narrow your topic to a more specific aspect of yours or someone else’s cultural identity.

Best cultural identity topics:

  1. How does one aspect of your cultural identity affect your daily life?
  2. How do marketers capitalize on your cultural identity?
  3. Customs and beliefs that I hold as a part of my ethnic identity?
  4. How has my gender influenced my cultural identity?
  5. What childhood experiences have impacted my cultural identity?
  6. How do my friends influence my cultural identity?
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Writing a Cultural Identity Essay

As stated above, the cultural identity essay is a personal narrative. Except when writing about the cultural identities of others, it is written in the first person, is usually lacking in research resources and should not just include facts. It should include your feelings and emotions as well. 

Your introduction should include your thesis statement. It should be personal and relate to some aspect of your cultural identity and how it has impacted you and your view of the world. 

Body paragraphs should provide detail that all relate to your thesis statement. Before you begin to write those paragraphs, make sure that you develop at least a rough outline of what you will include, and the order in which you will include the points you are making. 

Your cultural identity essay conclusion should summarize the points you have made and perhaps show some reflection on how your cultural identity may impact your future.

Cultural Identity Essay Examples

There are plenty of these on the web. And you can certainly access them, review them, and get a good general idea of how such an essay should be structured.

Remember, you are unique and your cultural identity is uniquely yours. When you write a cultural identity essay, make it yours alone.

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