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Cultural Identity and Conflict

CulturalIdentity and Conflict

CulturalIdentity and Conflict


Identityis a fundamental human need with numerous intractable clashes.According to the human needs theorists, needs clashes differ frominterests’ struggles since people can negotiate interests whilethey cannot convey elements of needs (University of Colorado, n.d.).Struggles over identity have become the most commonly occurring needsencounters and usually take place when individuals feel that theirpersonality is denied legitimacy, threatened, or not respected. Anindividual’s sense of personality is of huge significance since itinfluences one’s self-esteem as well as how they regard the rest ofthe world. Therefore, any issue that threatens one’s identityusually makes a person produce a highly strong response (Universityof Colorado, n.d.). On most occasions, the response can be defensiveor aggressive, and it may rapidly escalate into an intractableconflict that. Thus, it is critical for people to comprehend theaspects of multiculturalism effectively and cultivate an efficientcultural identity to deal with split personality and engagesuccessfully.


Asan immigrant, a person is faced with two separate cultures, that ofthe host country and of the country of origin (Yi, 1993). However,joining a new culture requires an individual to locate something thathe/she really conforms to (University of Colorado, n.d.). This willensure that individuals enjoy and benefit from it while practicingone’s culture since it cannot be completely separated from his/heridentity. When faced with a split personality, there can be adrawback, but an individual should not allow the differences todefine him/her or dehumanize who really one is. Therefore, it iscrucial to adopt the best of both cultures and assume the rest,irrespective of the pressure that he receives from both parts of theworld. As a Korean-Canadian, one needs to be proud of her identity,while adopting values of the new country (Yi, 1993). Every individualhas his/her own unique ways of overcoming the pressures associatedwith two cultures, and the solutions should not emanate from otherpeople.

Multiculturalismand assimilation

Onmost occasions, it can be difficult to combine multiculturalism andassimilation since a person acts differently during differentoccasions. However, acceptance and having a sense of belonging playsan instrumental role in defining one’s personality and self-esteem.The Cultural dilemma may be experienced depending on the way a personreacts to the host culture and the culture of an immigrant. Thedistinct cultures can be merged to enable a person to enjoy what thesociety has to offer. Whereas various kinds of stereotypes may beencountered because of one’s origin, the current modernized societyprovides a person with the opportunity of exploiting personaltalents, skills, and sense of self-worth.

Migrationand cultural identity

Migrationand globalization have made a huge contribution to the richness ofdiverse cultures, races, and ethnicity. However, studies have shownthat immigrants are faced with multiple stresses, which may affecttheir wellbeing. This includes loss of cultural norms, socialsupport, religious customs, split identities, and the concept of self(Bhugra &amp Becker, 2005). Mental health practitioners argue thatan immigrant should strive to acclimatize to both sides of the worldin order to avoid the unique stresses of sharing two cultures.Currently, people live in a multicultural world and work inorganizations that are made of diversified individuals. Therefore,migrant populations should be able to address the challengesassociated with their backgrounds and the experiences they encounterin the host country (Bhugra &amp Becker, 2005). This provides aperson with the opportunity of assimilating with the rest of thesociety.


Identityis an essential need and element and is usually aligned tomultipronged conflicts. In this regards, individuals should havedynamic sense of personality in order to develop their self-esteemand the way they relate to other people. Increased globalization hasresulted in the assimilation of different cultures and greatengagement among diverse people. However, some people have failed toconsider multiculturalism as a significance element in creatingdiversity and enhancing their identity. Thus, they need to understandthat cultural identity is an essential component of their livesparticularly in resolving conflicts.


Bhugra,D., &amp Becker, M. A. (2005). Migration, cultural bereavement andcultural identity. WorldPsychiatry,4(1), 18–24.

Universityof Colorado. (n.d.). Denialof identity.Retrieved November 19, 2016, fromhttp://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/problem/denyid.htm

Yi,S. K. (1993). An immigrant’s split personality. Globaland Mail.