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Culture and the Individual Definition:

Culture is inseparable from who we are and therefore a part of each individual's identity. This in turn, affects artistic choices. Culture can influence one's aesthetic training and preferences, personal sense of belonging as well as communicate identity guidelines of status, roles and relationships to society. In our pluralistic, interconnected world, one individual may reflect complex diverse cultural influences.

Related Concepts:

Belonging: Culture and subculture can greatly contribute to a sense of belonging. Art can reflect and help to establish the feeling of being a part of a cultural group, whether local or global.

Alienation: Circumstances, status or choice may lead a person to feel separate from a particular culture. Artistic expression can bring release and solace when these natural and imposed times of alienation occur such as during adolescence, periods of self discovery and redefinition, change of cultural group or when feeling outcast or oppressed.

Cultural Identities: Cultural identities are shaped by the main values, beliefs and customs of culture that can be enhanced and transmitted through art. Identity can be primarily dominated by one culture or by a combination of cultures or subcultures. Art reflects both traditional cultural identities and various cross-cultural mixing.

Status, Roles and Power: Art objects have been associated with social status and roles and power through content, classification and ownership. Social status and roles have been the subject of art cross-culturally. The power to give and possess art, as well as to label what is determined to be art, has been a demonstration of power. Art objects have at times, been developed to evoke or display power.

Subculture and Counterculture: Subcultural groups can include persons of the same age, status, and ethnic background, that have the same interests, goals. Counter-cultural groups have values that run counter to the established society. These identities are expressed and reinforced through art.


Cultural Context

Pluralism in Art

Aesthetic Traditions

Cultural and Community Events

Culture and the Individual

Teaching Suggestions



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