Essay Example on How Community Impacts One's Identity

Published: 2023-01-13
Essay Example on How Community Impacts One's Identity
Type of paper:  Argumentative essay
Categories:  Race Culture Religion Personality Community
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1617 words
14 min read


The community has a significant influence in forming people identity and sense of belonging. Identity is one of the prevailing concepts in social science disciplines including philosophy and psychology. It is the unique feelings, beliefs, and characteristics that distinguish people from others. An individual can learn and develop either a positive or negative character from either media, family members, or their peers. The community uses rewards and punishment to influence behaviour and perceptions of children and their interaction with others later in life (Rocque, 2010). However, people in a society can behave differently as a result of the varied perception of circumstances. Although people are the pioneers of their identity, the community, religion, and racial affiliation have a major influence on their behaviours, actions, and beliefs.

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A sense of belonging is one of the major requirements for enhancing an individual's physical and psychological wellbeing. In most cases, children and adults alike develop a sense of belonging through interacting with others. If people socialize with others in the community, they have an opportunity of shaping their identity either consciously or unconsciously. Apparently, an individual develops a unique set of values from birth and during their entire life. The media, family, and peers play a significant role in shaping peoples identity. It is apparent that parents and relatives have a significant influence on children's behaviours and moral values.

Cultural and Social Forces

The community influences an individual's personal identity and a sense of belonging. As a result, people develop unique values that determine their behaviour later in life. In most instances, people learn the acceptable language, beliefs, and customs that determine interaction with their peers (Read & Eagle, 2011). The nuclear family is the role model that makes children understand ethical and unethical issues. Therefore, society recognizes the parents of children with good morals and ridicules those whose children portray unacceptable behaviour. Children learn and absorb cultural attitudes and roles through the process of socialization. In fact, they have to adhere to social expectations to avoid any form of imbalance.

Cultural identity is multifaceted as a result of prevailing globalization and cultural diversity. Over the years, the issue of identity has been evolving constantly. It is for this reason that immigrants have to undergo through the process of cultural identity transformation towards achieving harmony and understanding with others (Read & Eagle, 2011). In most cases, people use culture in expressing and giving meaning to their identity and affiliations. As a result, they attain a unique level of acceptance and understanding through the different forms of cultural identity attainment. In fact, immigrants have to accept the different forms of cultural practices in order to coexist peacefully with others in society.

Religion and Identity

Religion is one of the organized systems of beliefs that forms a central part of identity. People in the same religion have unique rituals, gathering places, and sacred days. Therefore, followers have a sense of belonging that determines their identity. However, diversity is one of the unique characteristics of each religion. According to Swann & Buhrmester (2015), some individuals recognize rituals of worship as central to their lives. It is for this reason that some individuals might choose a specific religion for themselves or reject specific practices on the basis of their identity.

Followers of a specific religion have an opportunity of forming their identity. It is apparent that faith communities provide numerous opportunities for enhancing intergenerational relationships between different individuals. For instance, religious youths are embedded in social contexts that are characterized by trustworthy relationships and sharing of common beliefs, values, and goals (Read & Eagle, 2011). It is for this reason that they have an opportunity of internalizing beliefs that constitute identity. Importantly, religious groups give the youths numerous leadership opportunities that can enhance the formation of their identity. For instance, some of the adolescents can lead to congregational worship or even take on the leadership of youth ministries, which has a significant influence in their lives.

Besides, religion can offer a sense of connection that has an influence on people's self-concept. As a result, the believers recognize themselves as having special connection with God. They youths can find a sense of belonging as members of a specific faith community (Swann & Buhrmester, 2015). They have a chance of practicing common rituals that unites them together. Religious groups commemorate life transitions that enhance connectedness to a specific group. For instance, confirmation is one of the unique forms of acknowledging the commitment of young believers to specific beliefs and to nurture their spiritual formation. Therefore, the rite of passage can affirm a sense of identity among young individuals.

Race and Identity

The race is a salient and significant aspect of identity. Individuals develop a sense of belonging by realizing that they have a common heritage with a specific racial group. Racial identity is the classification of individuals on the basis of their skin colour and cultural practices. According to Moore & Barker (2012), explores perceptions of identity, multiculturalism, and sense of belonging as the main determinants of different relations in society. Third culture individuals are likely to possess a multicultural identity than a confused identity. However, a foreigner has a capability of internalizing the cultural norms in society and, thus, influencing a positive evolution of self. It is apparent that cultural identity is one of the factors that determine the ways in, which people adapt on the basis of intercultural affiliation.

The Third Culture Individuals (TCIs) encounter challenges in forming their identity and developing a sense of belonging. In most instances, adults have a comprehensive understanding of their nature and where they belong. On the contrary, TCIs move across different cultures before they are socialized into their home culture to form their personal identity. Moore & Barker (2012), the individuals focus on adapting to new environments, thus, suffering from the disruption of their identity development. The third culture individuals are more comfortable to interact with others of similar affiliation since they have a similar mindset and perceptions of different concepts in the world. Moreover, they have effective intercultural skills, such as the capability to adjust and multiple languages.

Besides, the community has a significant influence on people's behaviours, life qualities, and beliefs. Researchers identify the different meanings and importance that people attribute to race as one of the mitigation factors in the connectedness between adjustment and racial segregation. Neblett & Roberts (2013) posit that racial identity has a significant influence on different physiological responses and racism sentiments. In most cases, racial identity moderates the connectedness between adjustment and racial segregation. For instance, the African Americans, who recognize their identity are likely to overcome different forms of racial segregation that might affect their status in society. People have varied attitudes on racial relations in the society, thus, resulting in varied beliefs and attitudes.

Children develop a sense of belonging and cultural identity through interaction with parents and relatives. Race, religion, and culture are the fundamental concepts that determine an individual's position in the society. Each individual has an opportunity of learning acceptable social practices that determine their social connections in future (Neblett & Roberts, 2013). The characteristics of a child's social settingaffect their behaviour and perceptions in future. The ones that are raised in the same culture can respond to a similar pattern of influences. Importantly, the social class that a child is born affects the diet, interests, tastes, and perceptions of the social world.

People develop unique skills and knowledge through interaction with members of a specific society. Although parents have a significant influence in shaping an individual's identity, adults have an opportunity of joining various social groups and learn unique cultural practices. If a person lives in a specific environment, he/she is likely to develop unique values in order to develop a sense of belonging. Therefore, a remarkable role in the formation of identity is attached to a specific society including peers, family members, and media (Swann & Buhrmester, 2015). On the contrary, some individuals might encounter different forms of segregation if they interact with people from different cultural groups.

Culture, race, and religion are the major determinants of people's identity in society. The factors have influenced people's actions and sentiments on specific facets of the world. In the early stages of life, parents have a significant influence in forming children's identity. However, the children have an opportunity of interacting with members of other social groups later in life. As a result, they learn acceptable practices and beliefs in order to have a sense of belonging. It is apparent that people have to conform to the impositions and preferences in the community. The people in the specific social group have unique personalities that differentiate them from others in the community. Therefore, some people are likely to encounter different forms of segregation if they interact with members of majority groups. The community has a significant influence on people's beliefs, behaviour, and life qualities.


Moore, A. M., & Barker, G. G. (2012). Confused or multicultural: Third culture individuals' cultural identity. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 36(4), 553-562. Retrieved from

Neblett Jr, E. W., & Roberts, S. O. (2013). Racial identity and autonomic responses to racial discrimination. Psychophysiology, 50(10), 943-953. Retrieved from

Read, J. N. G., & Eagle, D. E. (2011). Intersecting identities as a source of religious incongruence. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 50(1), 116-132. Retrieved from

Rocque, M. (2010). Office discipline and student behavior: Does race matter?. American Journal of Education, 116(4), 557-581. Retrieved from

Swann Jr, W. B., & Buhrmester, M. D. (2015). Identity fusion. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 24(1), 52-57. Retrieved from

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