Initially we should have a clarification over terms similar to tradition, identity and cultural identity which leads us to the American cultural identity and its elements. Tradition is a really sophisticated time period 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 tradition as follows: tradition refers to the customs, practices, languages, values and world views that define social groups akin to those based on nationality, ethnicity, region or widespread interests.
Identity is another time period 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 perfect way to define the term identity is an answer to the query who am I? We are able to say that identity is about our self-notion and notion of others. There are totally different types of identity in response to different ways of categorizing of aspects. Personal identity, social identity and collective identity are the most recognizable ones. “The idea of a collective identity refers to a set of individuals’ 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.” (3) The master forces of collective identity are nationality, ethnicity, religion, gender, profession and decadent culture.
Cultural identity is the identity of a bunch, 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 will be simply defined because the sets of values, norms and beliefs that make the American folks as the Americans. Collective identity is not in battle with personal identity as every American has its own identity while the entire People has a specific 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 shape it. To rely among the most essential parts I go for the following ones.
English language is likely one of the elements that in my view have shaped the American cultural identity. It provides the People 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 most importantity of the People speak has had a great 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 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 People mind through the history and as a result it has made them think that they’re unique and special folks living in a land of opportunities. They consider in American Dream and so they think that they’ve had this probability to live on this land not another people. People imagine that they and only they’re exceptional and this thought 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 image and an emblem that integrates all People to a whole.
Liberalism is undoubtedly essentially 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 individuals are free to work, worship, live, journey and so on so forth as long as they respect each others’ rights. Liberalism limits the affect the government has on the personal lives of the citizens as well. When people see that they are free to decide on no matter they need under the liberalism umbrella, then they feel they’re Individuals and they recognize 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 nice significance and it offers the owner a way by which he/she feels American because they consider it a result of residing in America and believing in American beliefs. Individualism just isn’t only about economic phrases like property ownership. When it comes to tradition, cultural individualism is the idea that the entire Americans see themselves as a person from which the idea 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 question in American culture. It signifies that hard-working is an important factor amongst Americans. Americans work very hard and 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 became very common because “relatively than believing in absolutes it is believed that these ideas are changeable and rely on the context in which they are being discussed.” (four)
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