At first we should have a clarification over phrases equivalent to tradition, identity and cultural identity which leads us to the American cultural identity and its elements. Tradition is a really difficult time period to define. „It has more than a hundred definitions.” (1) To give a easy definition and no to confused with the hundred of the definitions we will define culture as follows: culture refers back to the customs, practices, languages, values and world views that define social groups such as these primarily based on nationality, ethnicity, region or widespread interests.
Identity is one other 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) The most effective way to define the time period identity is an answer to the query who am I? We can say that identity is about our self-notion and perception 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 probably 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 nationwideity, ethnicity, faith, 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 bunch or culture. Then cultural identity is a collective identity.
The American cultural identity may be merely defined as the sets of values, norms and beliefs that make the American individuals because the Americans. Collective identity shouldn’t be in battle with personal identity as every American has its own identity while the whole People has a selected collective identity by which they’re distinguished from the British people.
Talking about the parts of the American cultural identity is tough, because there are many elements that form it. To rely some of the most vital components I go for the following ones.
English language is without doubt one of the elements that for my part have formed the American cultural identity. It gives the Americans a sense of having 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 People speak has had an awesome affect on shaping their collective identity.
The idea of egalitarianism or having equal opportunities makes the second factor of the American cultural identity. This sense that all of us reside in a land of opportunities, while others do not and all of us are equal to have opportunities to live has integrated Individuals as a whole.
• Exceptionalism and Nationalism
The concept of exceptionalism has instilled in Americans mind via the history and as a result it has made them think that they’re distinctive and particular folks dwelling in a land of opportunities. They imagine in American Dream and they think that they’ve had this likelihood to live on this land not some other people. People consider that they and only they are exceptional and this idea gives them a sense 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 national image and an emblem that integrates all People to a whole.
Liberalism is undoubtedly probably the most influential element of American cultural identity. The concept of liberalism in America is as old as the United States where according the US Constitution the people are free to work, worship, live, travel and so forth 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 folks see that they’re free to choose no matter they need under the liberalism umbrella, then they feel they’re People they usually recognize themselves as Americans.
Individualism has had an ideal 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 provides 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 is not only about financial phrases like property ownership. In terms of culture, cultural individualism is the concept that the entire Americans see themselves as a person from which the thought 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 implies that hard-working is an important factor among Americans. People 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 became quite common because „rather than believing in absolutes it is believed that these ideas are changeable and depend on the context in which they’re being discussed.” (4)
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