Does culture impact who you are?

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Other topics: Philosophy
Short answer: Yes. Culture influences and shapes a person's behavior, identity, worldview, and beliefs.

Culture is the shared language, dressing, cuisine, ethical, behavioral, and moral beliefs held by the majority in a community. The culture we belong to influences our personality and views on the world around us.

A person's deeply rooted beliefs and behavior are affected and influenced by the culture they are born into, whether individualistic or collective.

Culture affects our intrinsic behavior[edit]

A person who grows up in a "strict" (Collective) society that strictly reinforces regulations does not favor individualistic ideas or conduct. For example, Asian cultures.

Those born in a "relaxed" (Individualism) society have more leeway in their behavior and beliefs—for example, in western cultures. There is a considerable emphasis on the notion that a person's life and decisions are their own.[1]

Culture defines the degree of our implicit trust[edit]

Recent research by Stanford psychologists reveals that comparable emotional responses might drive donating even more than the same race or gender. They imply that people are more likely to respond to emotional cues they recognize and relate to as part of their culture.[2]

Culture shapes and in some cases defines our identity[edit]

Cultural identities are built on socially defined classifications that give us a way of living and encompass a social code of conduct.[3]It dictates what is generally considered normal or absurd, polite or rude, and acceptable or despicable. Cultural identities are most profound in our sense of self because we are typically a part of them from birth. The historical foundation of cultural identities distinguishes a group of people from given social identities because societal standards for conduct change with time.[4] Consider how African Americans' social conduct has evolved since the civil rights struggle while they remain united in their cultural identities.

Our culture ties our identity through food, clothes, music, literature, history, etc.

Turukana ladies display their traditional attire.
Turkana ladies display their traditional attire. CC BY: Wikimedia

New arguments are further expanding definition of culture and its influence[edit]

Varner and Beamer argued in their 2005 research that culture is acquired, and it is not just intrinsic. Also, that culture is transferred from one generation to the next.

They emphasized that through social contact, groups of individuals who share biological characteristics (race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, and health) may form a coherent, taught, common culture on life's problems.

Such culture prioritizes what is significant, provides attitudes toward what is acceptable, and directs conduct. [5]


  1. "Understanding Collectivist Cultures". Verywell Mind. Retrieved 2022-10-18.
  2. "Neurocultural evidence that ideal affect match promotes giving". Oxford Academic.
  3. Fong, Mary; Chuang, Rueyling (2003-11-24). Communicating Ethnic and Cultural Identity. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. ISBN 978-0-7425-7424-3.
  4. "6.2 Foundations of Culture and Identity – Introduction to Speech Communication". Retrieved 2022-10-07.
  5. "Varner, I. and Beamer, L. (2005) Intercultural Communication in Global Workplace. McGraw-Hill, New York. - References - Scientific Research Publishing". Retrieved 2022-10-07.