Firstly we will need to have a clarification over phrases equivalent to culture, identity and cultural identity which leads us to the American cultural identity and its elements. Tradition is a very complicated term to define. “It has more than a hundred definitions.” (1) To present a simple definition and no to confused with the hundred of the definitions we are able to define culture as follows: tradition refers back to the customs, practices, languages, values and world views that define social teams resembling those primarily based on nationwideity, ethnicity, area or widespread interests.
Identity is one other term we must know about before understanding cultural identity. “The condition or character as to who a person or what a thing is.”(2) The perfect way to define the term identity is an answer to the query who am I? We can say that identity is about our self-notion and notion of others. There are totally different types of identity in accordance with totally different ways of categorizing of aspects. Personal identity, social identity and collective identity are probably the most recognizable ones. “The idea 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, faith, gender, profession and decadent culture.
Cultural identity is the identity of a gaggle, tradition or of an individual as far as one is influenced by one’s belonging to a group or culture. Then cultural identity is a collective identity.
The American cultural identity can be merely defined as the sets of values, norms and beliefs that make the American individuals because the Americans. Collective identity will not be in battle with personal identity as each American has its own identity while the entire People has a specific collective identity by which they’re distinguished from the British people.
Talking in regards to the elements of the American cultural identity is difficult, because there are various parts that form it. To count a number of the most important components I go for the following ones.
English language is among the elements that in my view have shaped the American cultural identity. It provides the Individuals a sense 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 mainity of the Individuals speak has had an awesome affect on shaping their collective identity.
The thought of egalitarianism or having equal opportunities makes the second ingredient of the American cultural identity. This sense that all of us reside in a land of opportunities, while others don’t and we all are equal to have opportunities to live has integrated Americans as a whole.
• Exceptionalism and Nationalism
The thought of exceptionalism has instilled in Americans mind through the history and because of this it has made them think that they’re distinctive and special individuals dwelling in a land of opportunities. They believe in American Dream and they think that they’ve had this chance to live on this land not any other people. Individuals consider 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 image of being an American and it has much 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 probably the most influential factor of American cultural identity. The idea of liberalism in America is as old as the United States where according the US Constitution the individuals are free to work, worship, live, journey and so forth so forth as long as they respect each others’ rights. Liberalism limits the influence the government has on the personal lives of the citizens as well. When folks see that they’re free to choose whatever they need under the liberalism umbrella, then they really feel they are People and they acknowledge themselves as Americans.
Individualism has had an important 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 great significance and it offers 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 is just not only about financial terms like property ownership. By way of culture, cultural individualism is the idea that the entire People see themselves as a person from which the thought of Americanism comes from.
Pragmatism, like individualism, has a Puritan origin. Americans work very hard to achieve their goals. The question “What do you do?” is a quite common query in American culture. It signifies that hard-working is an important factor amongst Americans. Individuals work very hard they usually always think in regards to the results undermining the instruments by which they will achieve the ends. In accordance with the American multicultural context, pragmatist concepts which refuses any absolutes became very common because “moderately than believing in absolutes it is believed that these ideas are changeable and depend upon the context in which they are being discussed.” (four)
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