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Collective Identity In order to face live with a confident and strong attitude, feeling part of a collective identity is very

helpful for us human beings. As a wise man once said, humans are social animals, who need to interact with other human beings, and who need to be part of a bigger group to feel safe. Thats why people always tries to join larger groups, not to feel as an insignificant and lonely individual. In the same way that the Heke family is part of the Maori people, in other places people also fits into groups with collective feelings which make them strong. For the Hekes, being a Maori represents their cultural and ethnic heritage, builds bridges between them and other Maori people, and makes them feel part of a group, with all its consequences. Their friends, their lifestyle, their behaviour, are conditioned by this collective identity, but also by others. Inside the Maori culture, different groups with different characteristics give each member of the family special and unique personality. We can find different kinds of collective identity everywhere. Apart from the political national identities, smaller groups make also their own indetity choices, which make their personalities develop in one way or another. One of the main utilities of the collective identity, I think, is to feel safe in front of the whole world, not to feel insecure and week. Every person is different, everyone has a different identity and personality, but members of the same group always have similar characteristics in some ways, characteristics that make them join the same group, but also be able to fit in them. Sometimes people have to change their minds in some ways in order to fit entirely in the collective identity of their fellow members. The influence of the group forces people to be more similar to its characteristics. Seems to me that the collective identity is more inportant when the group is the victim of some kind of oppression. When a group is being attacked in any way, politically, culturally or even militarily, being part of a group takes a lot more inportance than in a normal, pacific situation. Feeling that you are one more of a

large number of people makes it easyer to resist, to struggle against adversity, and not surrender. In these cases, in my opinion, the group gets stronger, as a result of the need to survive. Like, for example, Maori or Basque people, the problems that their culture and identity suffers turns their identity into a very inportant subject in their lifes. The chance to lose the collective identity that you are a part of makes you feel it in a stronger way.