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Unit 2

2.1 Unit 2: The Influence of Language and Culture on Identity


written by

Victoria Sokol

victoria sokol

published on september 5, 2020

Last updated on September 5, 2020

Unit 2: The Influence of Language and Culture on Identity

This unit plunges deeper into a few aspects of personal and public identity by analyzing the influences that language and culture have on forming one's identity. Our guiding questions for this unit are:

  • How does one’s identity evolve over time? / ¿Cómo se desarrolla nuestra identidad a lo largo del tiempo?
  • How does language shape our cultural identity? / ¿Cómo moldea la lengua nuestra identidad cultural?
  • How does technology influence the development of personal and public identity? / ¿Cómo influye la tecnología en el desarrollo de la identidad pública y personal?
  • How does the art of a community reflect its public identify? / ¿Cómo refleja el arte de una comunidad su identidad pública?

2.1 Personal Identity

Some say the journey of self discovery and understanding is a lifelong adventure. Each person's personal identity can change over time.

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Image from el autoestima en los adolecentes.

Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is the collection of all of the deep perceptions, images, thoughts 💭, and judgements 🧑‍⚖️ about ourselves. The three main components of self-esteem to consider are what you think, what you feel, and what you do. Know that self-esteem can change over time.

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Image from ABC.

What can cause lower self-esteem? According to Reach Out, there are many causes.

Causes

Palabra claveEnglishDescripción
padres que no animanunsupportive parentsLas personas que tienen un papel de influencia son importantísimos en el desarrollo de la autoestima.
Los amigos que son malas influenciasfriends who are bad influencesLos amigos son importantes en las experiencias que tienen los jóvenes.
Los eventos estresantes en la vidastressful life eventsLos eventos que resultan en estrés suman a tener muchos efectos.
La trauma o el abusotrauma or abuseUna vida llena de abuso o un evento traumático pueden bajar la autoestima.
El rendimiento pobre o metas impracticablespoor performance at school or unrealistic goalsEn la escuela es bueno hacer metas, pero si son impracticables o inalcanzables, se siente peor.
Los trastornos del estado de ánimomood disordersLos trastornos del estado de ánimo afectan la química del cuerpo y pueden mandar mensajes negativos al cerebro.
La ansiedadanxietyLa ansiedad se caracteriza por sentimientos de inquietud e inseguridad.
El acoso o la soledadbullying or lonelinessEl acoso es un ejemplo de ataques físicos o mentales que a veces resultan en el sentimiento de soledad.
Los problemas médicas en desarrolloongoing medical issuesOtros tipos de problemas médicas tienen efectos en el cuerpo y pueden hacerse sentir diferente que lo normal.

What are signs I could look out for so I can help? The largest sign of low self-esteem is repetitive negative thoughts about self worth or self value. If you see someone struggling with low self-esteem, offer kind words of encouragement that recognize what they are good at and build a positive relationship with them.

Beliefs 🤔 💭

The main religion in Latin America and Spain is Catholicism ✝️ There is a long history of Catholic beliefs in the Spanish-speaking world. This stems from European kings🤴 and queens 👸 imposing the Catholic religion upon their subjects for many, many centuries.

Most predominantly in Spanish-speaking history, Fernando II and Isabel I, los reyes católicos, united the kingdoms of Castilla and Aragón with their marriage 👩‍❤️‍👨 Ultimately, most of present day Spain came together under their rule. They have been titled the "Catholic Monarchs" in recognition of their enforcement and spread of the faith by Pope Alexander VI. In their conquest, they had little tolerance of other religions and drove many Jewish ✡️ and Muslim ☪️ people out of their realm. This deeply rooted ideology eventually spanned centuries and travelled across the ocean with the conquistadores who landed and conquered much of Central and South America. Under the orders of the Spanish kings🤴 and queen 👸 (and the Pope), Catholicism was imposed upon the indigenous people of the Americas with the same fervor and intolerance of indigenous beliefs or practices as the Jews and Muslims in Europe.

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Image from Twitter.

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Nowadays in Latin America, a growing number of Catholic believers is decreasing each year. Some of this decrease is due to sweeping trends of equality movements and removing oppression.

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Image from Pew Research Center.

Nowadays in Spain, many people still claim to be Catholic ✝️, but do not actively practice the Catholic faith by going to mass. It is very difficult to remove centuries of ideology, history, and cultural monuments from a place, so Catholicism is still heavily present in national institutions.

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Image from eldiario.es.

Apart from Catholicism, it is important to note a few of the folk religions that exist in the region of Latin America. While there are many religions practiced by smaller tribes of people in the Amazon Rainforest, there are two religions that have gained more popularity in recent years: La Santa Muerte and Santería.

La Santa Muerte, 👼 💀 tiene raíces en las comunidades indígenas desde el siglo XVIII. Hoy en día hay más de 10 millones de creyentes. Se considera como una ángel. Los creyentes traen ofrendas para intercambiar por su ayuda. En otras partes, ha subido en popularidad por los carteles narcotraficantes en México🇲🇽 quienes rezan por su protección. Esta religión tiene conexión con o una raíz en la fé católica por el uso de santos y algunos que antes practicaban catolicismo practican la Santa Muerte ahora por ser parecidas salvo que la Santa Muerte se acepta más sin discriminar como las normas católicas.

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Image from Mitú.

Santería tiene raíces afrocaribeñas y se considera una mezcla entre las tradiciones de Yoruba (de África) y Catolicismo. Se trajo a Cuba 🇨🇺 desde la África 🌍 durante el comercio de esclavos⛓️. Es una religión politeísta que enfoca más en ritos y prácticas como sacrificios de animales y ofrendas a los múltiples dioses. Para practicar esta religión, hay una ceremonia de iniciación de unos días, un toque de santo para invitar una posesión, curanderos que usan hierbas para sanar y consultas con un experto en adivinación.

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Image from Mitú.

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