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PSYC 215 Lecture Notes - Tim Hortons, Cultural Identity

Course Code
PSYC 215
Donald Taylor

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PSYCH 215 Lecture Oct 28
Self-Concept Structure (last class)
Need collective identity in order to form personal
o Am I tall? Must compare with group you belong to.
Higgins: when asks someone about ideal self, where do you get this? By and
large from their group or collective identity
Group specifies what is valued, what you should be, what you should aim for
Even if personal values/ self is slightly different from group, acknowledge
group opinion
EX. Want to be a rock and roll star. Forming it on basis of my culture, and in
most families of my group you strive for the best, even though you must be
doctor or lawyer
Aware that my group may not find my ideal self legitimate- helps you locate
When you say: I want to be a great rock and roll star. Must add “No, I’m
serious” no need when saying you want to be a doctor
Primacy comes from you can never understand who you are personally
unless you have framework
We have a variety of collective identities: man woman, athlete, and scholar:
which ones count?
Must important that serves primacy function: our cultural collective identity.
Culture is the one and only one that covers EVERYTHING: what you’re
supposed to be and strive for, what is valued, social relations, money, what is
success “from cradle to grave”
No other collective group identity that covers that
o Religion: cradle to grave undertaking
o Not first because it is not always the case that an individual will have
an affinity for a religion
o Sometimes culture and religion is one in the same
o Culture you cannot escape, stuck with it
o Religion is thus, the only competitor to cultural identity
o Everything else is subservient to cultural identity
o Cultural identity defines how you must behave within groups
o Some groups we belong to are only supposed to be influential in
certain environments: work environment is gender neutral with
respect to attitude ect. If used in work, it would be inappropriate
o We feel close to all our other groups too- sometimes don’t even know
WHAT our cultural identity is
o Mainstream group- what am I, Canadian, westerner?
o Maybe I don’t have one- that’s why I may be jealous of Italian friends,
they know who they are
o They seem to have something I don’t have
o Even when its not so clear to us that it is important: ITS THERE
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