Who am I? This is a brief six-letter question that has a complex and inner woven answer. A person's identity is composed of many intricate and multifaceted identities. To define an individual's identity is to examine the plurality of identity and how they collectively create "who you are" on the basis of culture, religion, personal factors, education, class and the tendency of shifting identities supported by the works of Ahmed, DuBois, and Maalouf. .
Culture is the shared beliefs, religious values, language, customs, practices, and social behavior of a particular nation or people. This sense of belonging to a culture directly affects a person's identity. Someone's speech, dress, manners and social interactions are a direct result of cultural influence. Maalouf uses the example of identical twins being separated at birth and raised in two different cultures. Although genetically identical, when reunited as adults, they may differ in their style of clothing, language, values, morals and more.
Culture directly affects an individual's identity by setting social standards and "norms". No matter what the culture, people have the desire to conform. Each culture has its own "norms" which people will conform to for social approval and acceptance. Individuals and their identities are representations of their culture. For example, in our Western culture, a bare foot girl wearing a toga on the street would be considered a social non-conformist, whereas, a socially acceptable girl in jeans and a Gap sweater is characterized as the cultural "norm".
Religion is an aspect of culture that is typically passed down through generations. Parents of faith most often raise their children in their own religion and spiritual beliefs. It could be said the religious choice a parent makes on behalf of their unborn children forms at a very early age an element of identity that is representative of the parent's and their culture.