What separates human being from other animals within our world is our innate ability to recognize and define our own existences. This ability in which we posses can not only create cohesion amongst groups and societies but it can also lead to dissonance and division. Our identities, whether personal or communal, are essential in legitimizing our actions, thoughts and beliefs. Amid contemporary western societies the focal emphasis on individual identities are particularly stressed and from this our communal identities have slowly been deteriorated. However, it is this collective identity which enables us to live harmoniously within the modern world. With such an important entity at stake it is crucial to recognize what it is that creates such solidarity amongst individuals and thus creating stable communities.
[...] National identity takes form from nationalism when it is embodied not only in the state but also within the individuals existing within that nation. Personal identities are definitive concepts of the self, which legitimise ones existence. It is important to note, however, that identities are not static as they develop and change over time with experience, knowledge and maturation (Parekh, 2000). For example, the identities assumed by blacks within the United States have proved to transform immensely. Initially the term ‘black' was viewed as quite derogatory, but with collective social actions during the 1960s such as the Black Power and Black is Beautiful movements, such a term was vastly redefined and what it meant to be black was radically changed, and thus the identities assumed by blacks as well underwent a drastic transformation (Lewis and Phoenix, 2004). [...]
[...] Clearly from this, one can establish that for Asians within the United Kingdom, religion proves to hold utmost significance in the forming of national identity in comparison to white in Britain. It is essentially the widespread belief in religion as well as the vast influence it possesses within their culture which creates cohesion amongst Asians. Moving away from religion and folklore, one must address the underlying notion that without a common language, none of this cohesion can be established. Oommen (1997) stresses the importance of language in creating essential solidarity amongst individuals sharing a given territory. [...]
[...] Having effortlessly suborned the subaltern nations into the imperial adventure, the English are unsure of themselves (2003, p.41) This insecurity though has been regarded as one of the few solidifying factors within the English nation. However, it is more crucial and fundamental to gather how such identities are initially formed and established amongst a group of collective individuals. A nation with a recognized set of commonalities has been frequently referred to as a community, with Anderson keying the phrase ‘imagined communities'. [...]
[...] London, Verso. Hewison, R. (2003) Britannia Rules No More. New Statesman October, pp.40-42. Lewis, G. and Phoenix, A. (2004) ‘Race', ‘Ethnicity' and Identity. In: Woodward, K. ed.Questioning Identity: Gender, Class and Ethnicity. London, Routledge, pp.115-150. Low, M. (2000) Nationalism. In: Browning, G.; Halcli, A. and Webster, F. [...]
[...] (Hewison 2003, p.42) Yet as a result of this cosmopolitan regard, many of these nations' own cultural and national identity become threatened. The compulsory assimilation of such a vast range of nations and communities within western societies has in turn weakened the essence of a homogenous nation sharing communal traditions and cultures. Within contemporary society, increases in immigration have lead to general declines in national identities. Yet it is crucial to pinpoint the necessities in which solidarity amongst communities acquire their legitimacy Within most western societies, it is citizenship which promotes migration for reasons such as work opportunities, civil rights, liberties and defense. [...]
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