In the beginning we should have a clarification over terms reminiscent of culture, identity and cultural identity which leads us to the American cultural identity and its elements. Tradition is a really complicated term to define. “It has more than a hundred definitions.” (1) To provide a easy definition and no to confused with the hundred of the definitions we can define culture as follows: culture refers back to the customs, practices, languages, values and world views that define social teams corresponding to these based mostly on nationwideity, ethnicity, region or common interests.
Identity is another term we should know about before understanding cultural identity. “The condition or character as to who an individual or what a thing is.”(2) The very best way to define the term identity is an answer to the query who am I? We can say that identity is about our self-perception and perception of others. There are totally different types of identity in response to totally different ways of categorizing of aspects. Personal identity, social identity and collective identity are essentially the most recognizable ones. “The concept of a collective identity refers to a set of people’ sense of belonging to the group or collective. For the person, the identity derived from the collective shapes a part of his or her personal identity.” (three) The master forces of collective identity are nationwideity, ethnicity, religion, gender, profession and decadent culture.
Cultural identity is the identity of a group, tradition or of a person so far as one is influenced by one’s belonging to a bunch or culture. Then cultural identity is a collective identity.
The American cultural identity can be simply defined because the sets of values, norms and beliefs that make the American individuals as the Americans. Collective identity is not in conflict with personal identity as every American has its own identity while the whole Americans has a specific collective identity by which they’re distinguished from the British people.
Talking about the parts of the American cultural identity is troublesome, because there are numerous elements that form it. To count a number of the most vital elements I go for the next ones.
English language is one of the components that for my part have formed the American cultural identity. It provides the People a way of getting a British origin and a feeling that the language their ancestors spoke was English like them and I think it makes them think of their Anglo-Saxon background. English language as the most importantity of the Individuals speak has had a fantastic affect on shaping their collective identity.
The thought of egalitarianism or having equal opportunities makes the second element of the American cultural identity. This sense that we all live in a land of opportunities, while others don’t and all of us are equal to have opportunities to live has integrated Americans as a whole.
• Exceptionalism and Nationalism
The concept of exceptionalism has instilled in Americans mind by means of the history and as a result it has made them think that they are unique and particular individuals living in a land of opportunities. They consider in American Dream they usually think that they’ve had this probability to live on this land not any other people. People believe that they and only they are exceptional and this idea offers them a sense of nationalistic level of view. Being patriot is a quite common symbol of being an American and it has a lot to do with exceptionalism and nationalism. For instance, US flag is considered a nationwide symbol and a logo that integrates all Individuals to a whole.
Liberalism is undoubtedly the most influential factor of American cultural identity. The idea of liberalism in America is as old as the United States the place in accordance the US Constitution the persons are free to work, worship, live, journey and so forth so forth so long as they respect each others’ rights. Liberalism limits the affect the government has on the personal lives of the citizens as well. When folks see that they are free to choose no matter they need under the liberalism umbrella, then they feel they’re People and they acknowledge themselves as Americans.
Individualism has had a great impact on being an American. It has a Puritan background. Individualism has helped the creation of property ownership and what is called privacy. Ownership in America is of nice significance and it gives the owner a way by which he/she feels American because they consider it a results of living in America and believing in American beliefs. Individualism just isn’t only about financial terms like property ownership. By way of tradition, cultural individualism is the idea that the entire Americans see themselves as a person from which the concept of Americanism comes from.
Pragmatism, like individualism, has a Puritan origin. Americans work very hard to achieve their goals. The query “What do you do?” is a very common question in American culture. It signifies that hard-working is a very important factor among Americans. People work very hard and so they always think about the outcomes undermining the instruments by which they can achieve the ends. In accordance with the American multicultural context, pragmatist ideas which refuses any absolutes turned quite common because “moderately than believing in absolutes it is believed that these concepts are changeable and depend on the context in which they are being discussed.” (four)
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