Cultural Identity: The Elements

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Firstly we will need to have a clarification over terms reminiscent of tradition, identity and cultural identity which leads us to the American cultural identity and its elements. Culture is a very sophisticated term to define. “It has more than a hundred definitions.” (1) To present a easy definition and no to confused with the hundred of the definitions we are able to define culture as follows: culture refers to the customs, practices, languages, values and world views that define social groups comparable to these based on nationwideity, ethnicity, area or frequent interests.

Identity is another term we must know about earlier than understanding cultural identity. “The condition or character as to who an individual or what a thing is.”(2) One of the best way to define the term identity is an answer to the query who am I? We can say that identity is about our self-perception and notion of others. There are completely different types of identity in accordance with 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 individuals’ 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 nationality, ethnicity, faith, gender, profession and decadent culture.

Cultural identity is the identity of a group, culture 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 may be merely defined because the sets of values, norms and beliefs that make the American individuals because the Americans. Collective identity just isn’t in battle with personal identity as each American has its own identity while the entire People has a selected collective identity by which they’re distinguished from the British people.

Talking in regards to the components of the American cultural identity is difficult, because there are numerous parts that shape it. To rely some of the most vital elements I go for the following ones.

• Language

English language is likely one of the parts that for my part have formed 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 majority of the Individuals speak has had an ideal affect on shaping their collective identity.

• Egalitarianism

The thought of egalitarianism or having equal opportunities makes the second component of the American cultural identity. This sense that we all live in a land of opportunities, while others do not and all of us are equal to have opportunities to live has integrated People as a whole.

• Exceptionalism and Nationalism

The idea of exceptionalism has instilled in People mind by way of the history and as a result it has made them think that they are distinctive and particular individuals living in a land of opportunities. They consider in American Dream and so they think that they have had this likelihood to live on this land not some other people. Americans consider that they and only they are exceptional and this idea offers them a way of nationalistic point 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

Liberalism is undoubtedly essentially the most influential component of American cultural identity. The concept of liberalism in America is as old because the United States the place in accordance the US Constitution the individuals are free to work, worship, live, travel and so on so forth so long as they respect each others’ rights. Liberalism limits the influence the federal government has on the personal lives of the citizens as well. When individuals see that they are free to decide on no matter they need under the liberalism umbrella, then they feel they are Individuals and so they acknowledge themselves as Americans.

• Individualism

Individualism has had an incredible 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 gives 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 terms like property ownership. When it comes to tradition, cultural individualism is the concept the entire Individuals see themselves as an individual from which the thought of Americanism comes from.

• Pragmatism

Pragmatism, like individualism, has a Puritan origin. Individuals work very hard to achieve their goals. The question “What do you do?” is a very common query in American culture. It signifies that hard-working is an important factor amongst Americans. Americans work very hard and so 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 turned very common because “moderately 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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