In the beginning we will need to have a clarification over phrases comparable to tradition, identity and cultural identity which leads us to the American cultural identity and its elements. Culture is a really sophisticated time period 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 can define culture as follows: culture refers to the customs, practices, languages, values and world views that define social groups comparable to these primarily based on nationality, 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 an individual or what a thing is.”(2) The best way to define the term identity is a solution to the question who am I? We can say that identity is about our self-notion and notion of others. There are 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 idea 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.” (three) The master forces of collective identity are nationwideity, ethnicity, religion, gender, profession and decadent culture.
Cultural identity is the identity of a bunch, culture or of a person so 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 could be simply defined as the sets of values, norms and beliefs that make the American folks because the Americans. Collective identity just isn’t in battle with personal identity as each American has its own identity while the whole Individuals has a selected collective identity by which they’re distinguished from the British people.
Talking about the components of the American cultural identity is troublesome, because there are various parts that form it. To count a few of the most vital elements I’m going for the next ones.
English language is without doubt one of the components that in my opinion have shaped the American cultural identity. It gives the Individuals 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 mainity of the Americans speak has had an incredible 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 we all are living 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 thought of exceptionalism has instilled in Americans mind via the history and as a result it has made them think that they’re unique and particular people dwelling in a land of opportunities. They believe in American Dream they usually think that they’ve had this probability to live on this land not another people. Individuals believe that they and only they’re distinctive and this thought offers them a way of nationalistic level of view. Being patriot is a very common symbol of being an American and it has a lot to do with exceptionalism and nationalism. For instance, US flag is considered a national symbol and a symbol that integrates all Americans to a whole.
Liberalism is undoubtedly probably the most influential element of American cultural identity. The idea of liberalism in America is as old as the United States where in accordance the US Constitution the persons 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 folks see that they’re free to choose no matter they want under the liberalism umbrella, then they feel they are Individuals and so they acknowledge themselves as Americans.
Individualism has had a fantastic 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 great significance and it provides the owner a way by which he/she feels American because they consider it a result of dwelling in America and believing in American beliefs. Individualism is just not only about economic terms like property ownership. When it comes to culture, 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. People work very hard to achieve their goals. The query “What do you do?” is a very common query in American culture. It means that hard-working is a vital factor amongst Americans. Americans work very hard they usually 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 quite common because “reasonably than believing in absolutes it is believed that these ideas are changeable and rely upon the context in which they are being discussed.” (4)
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