Free Cultural Identity: The Significance of Race and Ethnicity

896 (2 pages)
Download for Free
Important: This sample is for inspiration and reference only

Race and ethnicity has always been a somewhat difficult topic for me to view in a positive light. I grew up having my mother ingrained my ethnicity as a child in case anybody asked. As I got older, I realized it could’ve been a form of survivalism—having her daughter conform to American culture and identify with multiple European countries. It could also stem from the fact that she knew how people treated others who were darker skinned toned. My biological grandfather on my mom’s side and many of my uncles and aunts would fall under maltreatment in the U.S. and in Mexico. I knew when and what to say since I was able to grasp the concept of ethnicity and race. Being a white Hispanic/Latinx woman, ethnicity, race, and culture trisected as a child. I looked ‘white,’ but I didn’t know if I identified as white. Now that I know my origins, I’m comfortable labeling myself as a Caucasian and Hispanic/Latinx. It suddenly made sense as to why I always had a difficult time knowing how my ethnicity, race, and culture trisected. For Latinx, racial identity is more culture than color. There’s often a sharp disconnect between how Latinx view themselves and how the government views them. Many Latinx argue that the country’s race categories do not fit them. The governments very conception of identity is warped. As a group in this country, ‘Latin[x] tend to identify themselves more by their ethnicity’ (Rothenberg 220). This means that a shared set of cultural traits, like language or customs are the common denominator in the knowing of their origins.

Whenever I tell someone that I am Hispanic/Latinx, I either receive exceedingly surprised reactions. I get questions asking me where I’m from or to say something in Spanish because they don’t believe my origins. Similar to those reactions, whenever I tell someone of Latinx ethnicity that I am a mixed person of European/Caucasian descent as well, I get unfavorable looks because I’m not a Latinx person from the country my family is from. I always had an underlying feeling of having to prove my Hispanic/Latinx heritage to American and Caucasian people and my American and Caucasian heritage to Hispanic/Latinx people. It’s a difficult position and I’m unable to have people view me as a multi cultural person.

The topic of class has always been something I rarely talked about, let alone have my own family talk to me about our socioeconomic status. Despite this, I never struggled to understand why my family couldn’t afford certain things—I grew up in a non-materialistic household, where food, health, and family came first. Being from a working class family, I was used to the fact that I rarely saw my biological mother as a child. She worked 50+ hours a week and was unable to care for me most days and weekends. This was the normal in my childhood.

No time to compare samples?
Hire a Writer

✓Full confidentiality ✓No hidden charges ✓No plagiarism

Gender as a topic and construct is something I haven’t struggled with. Many family members on my biological mother’s side have also identity as cis-gendered. My gender identity growing up has always been something I was able to grasp and accept. I fully identify as a cis-gendered woman, with my pronouns being she/her/they. The gender I was assigned with at birth made sense to me growing up. I felt like I was in the right body.

Once I knew where I stood in regards to social categories, I realized gender, ethnicity, race, and culture are social categories that have been created through power, privilege, and oppression. Gender has a long history with power, privilege, and oppression. Someone who identifies as a male and heterosexual results in privilege from the gender hierarchy. White male privilege is an example of how race and gender combine to create one of the most advantageous categories to create power, privilege, and oppression. For the most part, it is largely a white power structure that has the ability to create racial/ethnic categories and apply them. ‘People of color from different ethnic backgrounds are often lumped together’ (Rothenberg 192). There’s a total disregard for the important cultural, social, and economic differences associated with their individual ethnic, class background, and places of origin. For example, people born in Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Spain may be grouped together by white people as Latinos or Hispanics even though the categorization ignores important differences among them.

Gender, race, ethnicity, and class are also social categories that have relationships with one another. My race informs my relationship to my gender the same way my gender informs my relationship to my socio-economic class. The issues of race and gender continuously cut across class lines. Albeit there are consequential differences in the way capitalism, racism, and sexism affect our lives, there are additionally a multitude of parallels. Class, race, and gender act independently of each other, but at the same time, they are very interrelated—’Racial and gender discrimination are forces that hold people down’ (Rothenberg 158). Women experience the effects of sexism whether they are well paid professionals or poorly paid clerks. Women are not only subjected to stereotyping and sexual harassment, but ‘[Women] face discrimination and are denied opportunities and privileges that men have’ (Rothenberg 158). Regardless of class standing, women and members of minority races are constantly dealing with institutional forces that hold them down precisely because of their gender, the color of their skin, or both.          

You can receive your plagiarism free paper on any topic in 3 hours!

*minimum deadline

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below

Copy to Clipboard
Free Cultural Identity: The Significance of Race and Ethnicity. (2023, March 14). WritingBros. Retrieved March 28, 2023, from
“Free Cultural Identity: The Significance of Race and Ethnicity.” WritingBros, 14 Mar. 2023,
Free Cultural Identity: The Significance of Race and Ethnicity. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 28 Mar. 2023].
Free Cultural Identity: The Significance of Race and Ethnicity [Internet]. WritingBros. 2023 Mar 14 [cited 2023 Mar 28]. Available from:
Copy to Clipboard

Need writing help?

You can always rely on us no matter what type of paper you need

Order My Paper

*No hidden charges