First and foremost we will need to have a clarification over terms akin to culture, identity and cultural identity which leads us to the American cultural identity and its elements. Culture is a really difficult term to define. “It has more than a hundred definitions.” (1) To offer a simple definition and no to confused with the hundred of the definitions we will define tradition as follows: tradition refers to the customs, practices, languages, values and world views that define social teams resembling these based on nationwideity, ethnicity, region or frequent interests.
Identity is one other term we should know about earlier than understanding cultural identity. “The condition or character as to who an individual or what a thing is.”(2) The most effective way to define the time period identity is an answer to the query who am I? We will say that identity is about our self-perception and notion of others. There are different types of identity according to totally 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 individual, the identity derived from the collective shapes a part of his or her personal identity.” (3) The master forces of collective identity are nationality, ethnicity, religion, gender, profession and decadent culture.
Cultural identity is the identity of a gaggle, tradition 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 folks because the Americans. Collective identity just isn’t in conflict with personal identity as every American has its own identity while the entire People has a particular collective identity by which they are distinguished from the British people.
Talking concerning the parts of the American cultural identity is tough, because there are lots of parts that form it. To rely some of the most essential components I go for the following ones.
English language is without doubt one of the components that in my opinion have formed the American cultural identity. It offers the Americans a way 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 mainity of the People speak has had an excellent influence on shaping their collective identity.
The idea of egalitarianism or having equal opportunities makes the second ingredient of the American cultural identity. This sense that all of us live in a land of opportunities, while others do not and we all are equal to have opportunities to live has integrated Individuals as a whole.
• Exceptionalism and Nationalism
The concept of exceptionalism has instilled in Individuals mind by way of the history and consequently it has made them think that they’re distinctive and particular people dwelling 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 every other people. Individuals imagine that they and only they’re distinctive and this idea provides them a way of nationalistic point of view. Being patriot is a quite common symbol of being an American and it has much to do with exceptionalism and nationalism. For example, US flag is considered a nationwide symbol and an emblem that integrates all Americans to a whole.
Liberalism is undoubtedly essentially the most influential component 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 individuals are free to work, worship, live, journey and so on so forth as long as they respect every others’ rights. Liberalism limits the affect the government has on the personal lives of the citizens as well. When individuals see that they’re free to decide on whatever they want under the liberalism umbrella, then they really feel they are People they usually 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 gives the owner a way by which he/she feels American because they consider it a results of residing in America and believing in American beliefs. Individualism just isn’t only about economic terms like property ownership. When it comes to culture, 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. People 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 a vital factor among Americans. Individuals work very hard and they always think concerning the outcomes undermining the tools by which they can achieve the ends. In accordance with the American multicultural context, pragmatist concepts which refuses any absolutes grew to become quite common because “slightly than believing in absolutes it is believed that these ideas are changeable and rely upon the context in which they’re being discussed.” (four)
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