Every individual is multicultural; cultures are not monolithic islands but criss-crossed alluvial plains.
Individual identity stems from the encounter of multiple collective identities within one and the same person; each of our various affiliations contributes to the formation of the unique creature that we are.
Human beings are not all similar, or entirely different; they are all plural within themselves, and share their constitutive traits with very varied groups, combining them in an individual way.
The cohabitation of different types of belonging within each one of us does not in general cause any problems – and this ought, in turn, to arouse admiration: like a juggler, we keep all the balls of our identity in the air at once, with the greatest ease!
Individual identity results from the interweaving of several collective identities; it is not alone in this respect.
What is the origin of the culture of a human group?
The reply – paradoxically – is that it comes from previous cultures.
A new culture arises from the encounter between several smaller cultures, or from the decomposition of a bigger culture, or from interaction with neighboring culture.
There is never a human life prior to the advent of culture.
Tzvetan Todorov (1 March 1939 – 7 February 2017) was a Bulgarian-French historian, philosopher, structuralist literary critic, sociologist and essayist.
He was the author of many books and essays, which have had a significant influence in anthropology, sociology, semiotics, literary theory, intellectual history and culture theory.