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Shared British Identity Cannot Depend on a Share Culture - Essay Example

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This essay "Shared British Identity Cannot Depend on a Share Culture" first explains whether shared British identity depends on a share culture and later delves deeper into it as a way of evaluating its merits…
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Shared British Identity Cannot Depend on a Share Culture
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Download file to see previous pages Firstly, there is much veracity to the claim that a shared British identity does not equate to a shared British culture. As British society becomes increasingly cosmopolitan, it is going to be difficult to pinpoint and define what exactly constitutes British identity, as people from different backgrounds might embrace and emphasize different aspects of British culture. In other words, while culture encompasses the broader descriptions of our society, identities can be formed as subsets of these. This situation can be deemed unprecedented in British history, for till the first half of the twentieth-century British culture and identity could be fairly well defined. Since the end of the Second World War, in what has come to be called retrospectively as the post-colonial period, the British Isles has witnessed a rapid increase in immigrants from erstwhile colonies. Added to this, the recent European Union trade and labor agreements have facilitated the movement of workers across borders. These radical transformations to the demographic composition of the nation have left commentators, politicians and intellectuals confused. While there are obvious merits to the idea of open borders, there is also a strong contingency of opposition to this trend (Making Social Lives, 2009). Especially the conservative sections of British intelligentsia and politics are shrill and vocal in its opposition to the emerging multicultural trend. While it might have been true in the early decades of the twentieth century, it no longer holds true that a shared British identity necessarily translates into a shared British culture. That is, one could be a British citizen of Pakistani Muslim descent and yet claim the country as his/her own. In this particular case, the individual’s culture is borrowed from afar but by virtue of having been integrated into British society, the claim to a British identity becomes legitimate. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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