First and foremost we must have a clarification over terms reminiscent of culture, identity and cultural identity which leads us to the American cultural identity and its elements. Culture is a really complicated 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 are able to define tradition as follows: culture refers to the customs, practices, languages, values and world views that define social groups similar to these primarily based on nationality, ethnicity, region or common interests.
Identity is one other term we must know about earlier than understanding cultural identity. “The condition or character as to who a person or what a thing is.”(2) One of the best way to define the time period identity is an answer 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 based on totally different ways of categorizing of aspects. Personal identity, social identity and collective identity are essentially 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.” (3) The master forces of collective identity are nationwideity, ethnicity, religion, gender, profession and decadent culture.
Cultural identity is the identity of a group, tradition or of an individual so far as one is influenced by one’s belonging to a bunch or culture. Then cultural identity is a collective identity.
The American cultural identity can be merely defined as the sets of values, norms and beliefs that make the American individuals because the Americans. Collective identity will not be in conflict with personal identity as each American has its own identity while the whole People has a specific 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 a lot of elements that shape it. To count some of the most important elements I am going for the next ones.
English language is one of the parts that in my opinion have shaped the American cultural identity. It gives the Americans a sense 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 foremostity of the Individuals speak has had an important influence on shaping their collective identity.
The concept of egalitarianism or having equal opportunities makes the second factor of the American cultural identity. This sense that all of us live in a land of opportunities, while others don’t and all of us 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 by way of the history and because of this it has made them think that they’re unique and special people living in a land of opportunities. They believe in American Dream and so they think that they’ve had this likelihood to live on this land not every other people. People consider that they and only they’re distinctive and this thought offers them a way of nationalistic point 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 nationwide image and a symbol that integrates all People to a whole.
Liberalism is undoubtedly probably the most influential ingredient of American cultural identity. The thought of liberalism in America is as old because the United States the place according the US Constitution the individuals are free to work, worship, live, travel and so forth 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 folks see that they are free to decide on no matter they need under the liberalism umbrella, then they really feel they are Americans and so they acknowledge themselves as Americans.
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 results of dwelling in America and believing in American beliefs. Individualism just isn’t only about financial terms like property ownership. When it comes to culture, cultural individualism is the idea that the entire Americans see themselves as an individual from which the concept of Americanism comes from.
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 means that hard-working is a very important factor among Americans. People work very hard and they always think in regards to the outcomes undermining the instruments by which they will achieve the ends. In accordance with the American multicultural context, pragmatist ideas which refuses any absolutes turned quite common because “quite than believing in absolutes it is believed that these ideas are changeable and depend on the context in which they are being discussed.” (four)
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