National Identity and ethnic Identity

Peer groups can persuade groups that their ideas are correct, this may make the person feel that they have to follow this by using a white mask and create their ethnicity. However ethnic identity will be also be influenced by social class and race as people don’t always conform to their peer groups. Johal’s dual Identity does not necessarily mean that people are creating an ethnic identity from their peers as the Asians only adopt elements of the white culture especially in front of their white peers.

Britain can be seen as ethnocentric which means that are ethnic views would be passed to others and they would feel that they have to follow. A second agent of secondary socialisation that creates ethnic identities is religion. Johal notes that it functions to empower through difference when ethnic minority religion comes into conflict with the increasingly secularised majority culture over issues such as worship in schools, the education of females, clothing requirements, etc. Bird argues that religion therefore functions to maintain ethnic identity and resist assimilation in a mainly white and Christian society.

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d) There are arguments for and against there being a clear British culture and identity in the contemporary UK. Inclusive nationalism where people have no wish to draw tight boundaries around membership of the British nation and are willing to include certain marginal groups e. g. immigrants as part of the national community and grant them full civil rights. This links to Britishness tests as this shows we have willingness for others but expect them to reach are norms and values.

This shows we have a clear British Identity and culture as we know what we expect of others and will except them if they understand are views. Billig also states that we show a clear British culture as we still like the monarchy and respect them as an important symbol within are culture. People respect the monarchy despite having cynical feelings about them because the royals have managed to represent themselves as an ordinary family doing an extraordinary job very well. Hall points out that every nation has a collection of stories about its shared experiences, sorrows, triumphs and disasters.

These stories are told in the nations proud boasts with its collective memories. This shows that we have a clear British culture and Identity as we remember the valuable moments and share them with those around us. Symbols and rituals show that we have a clear British Culture and Identity as we have anthems, monuments and ceremonies to celebrate are culture such as Remembrance Day and the Queen’s speech. We do this shared between the members of society and many children learn these through the agents of primary and secondary socialisation.

These special events then become passed through the generations showing the clear identities what we hold. However, defensive patriotism caused by the need to assert ones Britishness abroad in order to counter the view that the British dominance is the decline. This shows that there is not a clear British identity as the British are asserting themselves abroad because they feel that their own people are not listening therefore they feel that there is a lack of identity and culture within contemporary UK.

The concept of the Little Englander where people have a strong sense of English identity are characterised by suspicion of the outsider, the foreigner and those of other races. This means that there is not a clear British Identity as they are classing themselves as English not British. This was studied by Curtice and Heath who found that this group who identify themselves as English not British has increased from seven percent of the population to seventeen percent in 1999. 37 percent openly admitted to being openly racially prejudice.

Many thought that the EU was trying to abolish Britishness. This shows many people are loosing the sense of Britishness and believe that they are English. The concept of the Celtic identity shows that people don’t have a British identity as this term describes the Welsh, Irish and Scottish. This shows that they do include themselves as part of Britain and are removing themselves from the rest of the society. Exclusive nationalism shows that a clear British Culture and Identity is not present.

People in this group place stronger emphasis on maintaining tight national boundaries by excluding immigrants and ethnic minorities. They have a hatred for foreigners and European interference in British political and economic affairs this was stated by Dowds and Young. This shows that other people want to join the British culture and are being pushed away. There are tight national boundaries so people do not have a clear view of what they class as British and are not including others.