Identity is expressed in popular culture every day; everybody knows what the word means. It is also, however, a multilayered and complex topic. It is studied by researchers; debated by educators, psychologists, and sociologists; and used as the basis for decision making by politicians, market forecasters, and advertisers. Creating awareness of one’s identity is fundamental to developing intercultural competence.

In brief, identity can be defined as a person’s largely unconscious sense of self, both as an individual and as part of the larger society. It influences with whom people affiliate and from whom they withdraw, why and how they see the world the way they do, and to what extent they are willing to engage with people who are different from themselves.

Identity consists of both personal ...

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