Pakistan Research Repository


Rehman Ullah, Saifur (1972) THE IMPACT OF CULTURE CONFLICT ON IDENTITY WITH AN EMPHASIS ON PAKISTAN. PhD thesis, University of the Punjab, Lahore.



The main concern of this research is to relate culture conflict with the problems of identity and identification as seen in Pakistan. Pakistan today is undergoing an identity crisis a crisis which the author feels arises from culture conflict. One of the causes of this conflict is that the Pakistani society possesses imported cultures along with its own; varying with the diverse regions. The numerous cultures tend to conflict with one another. This crisis is clearly manifest in the actions of the Pakistani youth --rebellions, and indecisiveness. Thus, this study was designed to discover the underlying psychodynamics of the crisis; the identity crisis in Pakistan. This dissertation has been divided into three parts. The first deals with the topic of identification and identity, two concepts which frequently appear in connection with the individual's personality development. It is believed that in order for one to understand the hypothesis presented in this paper, that culture conflict exists in and among the Pakistani culture, it is necessary for one to understand the individual concepts involved and what their influence is on the individual personality. Thus, Chapter I deals with the terms identity and identification and implies their importance; namely that a person's image or identity of himself is obtained early in life as the result of selecting desired traits from various models and that an individual must have a concise concept of himself in order to survive as a productive human being. Likewise, a nation must also possess a wholesome concept of itself in order to exist as a strong, independent land. If that image becomes hazy, the individual and the nation which is made up of 11 individuals may eventually destroy themselves. Chapter I also discusses personality development, the various forms of identity and identification, and the role of identity in modern literature (as seen in Appendices D and E). Continuing, Chapter II concerns itself with the concept of culture. The term itself and its dynamic aspects of organization are discussed, while a short summary of Pakistan's historical development is included in Appendix G. The importance of this-chapter is in recognizing that cultural factors are of great consequence in personality development. It is essential that we study other cultures and civilizations, especially in this techno- logically modern world, to learn of how their advancements or standstills affect their people emotionally and psychologically. Man must discover whether some technological advancement which is "good" for one group of people could be harmful for another, and thereupon conclude that each culture (and therefore country) should be left to its own decisions without force or ridicule. Each culture possesses its own "normal personality" which is a result of living in that particular culture, and bringing too rapid or unwanted technological advancements may wreak havoc upon an unsuspecting nation, stunting the personality development of its people. In Chapter III, we are concerned with defining the concepts of culture conflict and identity crisis, viewing areas in everyday Pakistani life where culture conflict is apparent, postulating the results of culture conflict, and in developing a test to identify culture conflict existing in a society, particularly Pakistan. Living in such a rapidly moving world, we are becoming more and more aware of conflicts among and in cultures, and of the resultant problem of forming a strong identity. It is also noticed that in this modern age of technology and mass culture, maintaining the old is becoming more and more difficult, while at the same time the youth seem to be rebelling, forcing a larger gap between the "old" and the "new". We are confronted today with a generation of youth unable to obtain strong, purposeful identities; a real "identity crisis" has occurred. In this final chapter, the author has also placed a test which he has developed to strengthen the hypothesis presented in this dissertation; namely that 1) there is culture conflict in the Pakistani society, 2) this culture conflict does affect identity, both personal and collective, and 3) culture conflict can exist in a mono-cultural setting. Test I is designed to measure the individual's level of anxiety and Test II is intended to measure an individual's knowledge of his culture. Conclusions based upon the theoretical discussion and experimental research as in regards to the Pakistani culture are: 1) There exists a culture conflict in Pakistan which having started in the 19th century has greatly accelerated since the formation of Pakistan. Two major explanations can be given for this conflict: a) a lack of cultural knowledge (as indicated in Test II) which may be responsible for poor identification with the Pakistani culture and/or b) the use of Western culture as a yard-stick of measurement of the cultural refinement of a person. In spite of this trend of using the Western culture as a measure of refinement, there still remains a certain loyalty towards the inherited Pakistani culture. This is where the conflict arises--the choice between two cultural models, both having certain positive, intriguing elements. 2) This culture conflict, which exists in the Pakistani-society today has affected the personal identity of its citizens described in this dissertation as "identity crisis". The identity of an individual incorporates culture and cultural values. If the culture and the cultural values are unclear to the individual ("culture conflict"), then the result will be faulty identity formation or "identity crisis". When a majority of a nation's citizens undergo such a conflict, it then becomes a national crisis. Test I indicates that there is exceptionally high anxiety prevalent among the youth of Pakistan. This anxiety is a direct measure of the inner conflicts of these people. There is also a general dis-contentment among the nation's population which lends support to this finding. 3) Pakistan is more or less a homogenous nation as in regards to culture, religion, and race (each region is in itself homogenous). Since it has been suggested that culture conflict does exist in Pakistan, it can be concluded that culture conflict can exist in a mono-cultural setting. It has been suggested that more extensive work at a national level, possibly through an institute of psychology, be done on discovering and improving the strengths of the Pakistani culture while at the same time bringing it to the attention of the general public. Such an institute may help facilitate improving or assisting in the timely cultural changes which may occur within the general framework of the Pakistani culture as seen by the nineteenth and twentieth century Moslem scholars and Quaid-e-Azam. This could help bring the nation together, hopefully presenting a realization that a sea or another nation separating such a nation geographically means little. Thus, future unfortunate misunderstandings could be avoided between the different regions of Pakistan.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords:culture conflict, identity crisis, psychodynamics, personality development, normal personality, mono-cultural
Subjects:Social Sciences(g) > Psychology (g16)
ID Code:353
Deposited By:Mr Ghulam Murtaza
Deposited On:30 Jun 2006
Last Modified:04 Oct 2007 21:00

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