First and foremost we will need to have a clarification over phrases resembling tradition, identity and cultural identity which leads us to the American cultural identity and its elements. Tradition is a really difficult time period to define. “It has more than a hundred definitions.” (1) To offer a easy definition and no to confused with the hundred of the definitions we can define tradition as follows: culture refers back to the customs, practices, languages, values and world views that define social groups comparable to these based mostly on nationality, ethnicity, area or common interests.
Identity is one other time period we must know about earlier than understanding cultural identity. “The condition or character as to who an individual or what a thing is.”(2) The perfect way to define the term identity is a solution to the query who am I? We will say that identity is about our self-notion and perception of others. There are totally different types of identity in line with completely different ways of categorizing of aspects. Personal identity, social identity and collective identity are 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 nationality, ethnicity, faith, gender, profession and decadent culture.
Cultural identity is the identity of a group, culture or of a person 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 simply defined because the sets of values, norms and beliefs that make the American people as the Americans. Collective identity shouldn’t be in battle with personal identity as every American has its own identity while the whole People has a particular collective identity by which they are distinguished from the British people.
Talking about the elements of the American cultural identity is difficult, because there are numerous components that form it. To rely some of the most essential components I’m going for the next ones.
English language is without doubt one of the components that in my opinion have formed the American cultural identity. It gives the Americans a sense of having a British origin and a sense 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 keyity of the People speak has had a fantastic affect on shaping their collective identity.
The concept of egalitarianism or having equal opportunities makes the second aspect of the American cultural identity. This sense that we all reside in a land of opportunities, while others do not and all of us are equal to have opportunities to live has integrated Americans as a whole.
• Exceptionalism and Nationalism
The thought of exceptionalism has instilled in People mind by the history and because of this it has made them think that they are unique and particular folks residing in a land of opportunities. They imagine in American Dream they usually think that they have had this likelihood to live on this land not another people. Americans consider that they and only they are distinctive and this concept gives 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. As an example, US flag is considered a nationwide image and a logo that integrates all Americans to a whole.
Liberalism is undoubtedly the most influential component of American cultural identity. The concept of liberalism in America is as old because the United States where according the US Constitution the individuals are free to work, worship, live, travel and so forth so forth so long as they respect every others’ rights. Liberalism limits the influence the government has on the personal lives of the citizens as well. When people see that they’re free to decide on whatever they want under the liberalism umbrella, then they really feel they’re Americans and they acknowledge themselves as Americans.
Individualism has had a terrific impact on being an American. It has a Puritan background. Individualism has helped the creation of property ownership and what’s called privacy. Ownership in America is of nice significance and it offers the owner a sense by which he/she feels American because they consider it a result of residing in America and believing in American beliefs. Individualism is not only about financial terms like property ownership. By way of tradition, cultural individualism is the concept that the entire People see themselves as an individual from which the concept 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. People work very hard and they always think in regards to 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 grew to become very common because “rather than believing in absolutes it is believed that these ideas are changeable and depend upon the context in which they’re being discussed.” (4)
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