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hayley reed's picture

The New York Times seems to

The New York Times seems to have a collection of articles that relate well to what we have been studying. For my social psychology class we had to read an article from The New York Times pertaining to identity and I thought it related well to our discussion of identity.

The article raises key questions about how much influence culture has in the development of our identity. In the article titled “A Wee Identity Crisis”, Alexander McCall Smith touches on the idea that genetics and culture can have a powerful influence on the formation of identity. The article was written because evidence was recently published by leading geneticists at Oxford University that says that at least in genetic terms, the Scottish and the English are not all that different. This came as a surprise to many individuals who believed there were many differences between the Scotts and the English. Being English myself I couldn’t help but agree that there are major differences between the Scotts and the English. But, recent studies suggest that if genetics does not influence the identity of both individuals from Scotland and England then culture must play a colossal role in development. For all the talk there has been about the differences between the two ethnic groups there appears to be a common genetic base that the two groups share. This particular case study is so interesting because it exhibits the extent to which culture can shape individuals in a specific manner. The historical rift between the English and the Irish has been created & crafted by culture. The power culture has over society is illustrated in how willingly this story has been passed down through generations and accepted universally.


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