Before everything we will need to have a clarification over phrases equivalent to culture, 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 will define culture as follows: tradition refers to the customs, practices, languages, values and world views that define social teams comparable to those based on nationality, ethnicity, region or common interests.
Identity is one other time period we should know about earlier than understanding cultural identity. „The condition or character as to who a person or what a thing is.”(2) The perfect way to define the term identity is a solution to the query who am I? We will say that identity is about our self-notion and notion of others. There are completely different types of identity in keeping with completely 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 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.” (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 an individual so far as one is influenced by one’s belonging to a gaggle or culture. Then cultural identity is a collective identity.
The American cultural identity might be merely defined as the sets of values, norms and beliefs that make the American people as the Americans. Collective identity shouldn’t be in conflict with personal identity as every American has its own identity while the whole Individuals has a particular collective identity by which they are distinguished from the British people.
Talking in regards to the components of the American cultural identity is difficult, because there are a lot of parts that form it. To count a few of the most essential elements I am going for the following ones.
English language is without doubt one of the components that for my part have formed 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 Americans speak has had an awesome influence on shaping their collective identity.
The thought of egalitarianism or having equal opportunities makes the second factor of the American cultural identity. This sense that we all reside in a land of opportunities, while others don’t and we all are equal to have opportunities to live has integrated Americans as a whole.
• Exceptionalism and Nationalism
The thought of exceptionalism has instilled in Individuals mind via the history and because of this it has made them think that they’re unique and particular individuals dwelling in a land of opportunities. They consider in American Dream they usually think that they have had this likelihood to live on this land not some other people. People consider that they and only they’re distinctive and this thought provides them a sense 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 example, US flag is considered a national image and a logo that integrates all Americans to a whole.
Liberalism is undoubtedly essentially the most influential element of American cultural identity. The idea 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, 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 people see that they are free to decide on whatever they want under the liberalism umbrella, then they feel they’re Individuals and so they recognize themselves as Americans.
Individualism has had an awesome 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 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 will not be only about financial phrases like property ownership. By way of 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 query „What do you do?” is a quite common question in American culture. It implies that hard-working is an important factor among Americans. Individuals work very hard and they always think in regards to the outcomes undermining the tools by which they can achieve the ends. In accordance with the American multicultural context, pragmatist ideas which refuses any absolutes became quite common because „quite than believing in absolutes it is believed that these concepts are changeable and rely upon the context in which they’re being discussed.” (four)
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