At the start we should have a clarification over terms corresponding 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 give a easy definition and no to confused with the hundred of the definitions we can define culture as follows: culture refers to the customs, practices, languages, values and world views that define social teams comparable to those based mostly on nationwideity, ethnicity, region or widespread interests.
Identity is another 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) The very best 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-perception and notion of others. There are completely different types of identity in keeping with 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 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 bunch, tradition or of an individual 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 can be merely defined because the sets of values, norms and beliefs that make the American folks because the Americans. Collective identity is not in battle with personal identity as every American has its own identity while the entire Individuals has a specific collective identity by which they are distinguished from the British people.
Talking concerning the parts of the American cultural identity is troublesome, because there are a lot of parts that shape it. To rely some of the most essential elements I'm going for the next 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 way 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 majority of the People speak has had an awesome influence on shaping their collective identity.
The concept of egalitarianism or having equal opportunities makes the second element of the American cultural identity. This sense that all of us live in a land of opportunities, while others do not and all of us are equal to have opportunities to live has integrated Americans as a whole.
• Exceptionalism and Nationalism
The idea of exceptionalism has instilled in Americans mind by the history and because of this it has made them think that they're unique and particular people dwelling in a land of opportunities. They imagine 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 exceptional and this idea gives them a sense of nationalistic point of view. Being patriot is a very common image of being an American and it has a lot to do with exceptionalism and nationalism. As an example, US flag is considered a nationwide image and a symbol that integrates all People to a whole.
Liberalism is undoubtedly the most influential aspect of American cultural identity. The idea of liberalism in America is as old as 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 government has on the personal lives of the citizens as well. When individuals see that they are free to decide on whatever they want under the liberalism umbrella, then they feel they are Americans and so they acknowledge themselves as Americans.
Individualism has had a great 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 residing in America and believing in American beliefs. Individualism shouldn't be only about economic phrases like property ownership. In terms of culture, cultural individualism is the concept that the entire People see themselves as an individual from which the thought of Americanism comes from.
Pragmatism, like individualism, has a Puritan origin. Americans work very hard to achieve their goals. The question "What do you do?" is a very common question in American culture. It implies that hard-working is an important factor among Americans. Individuals work very hard and so 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 grew to become quite common because "moderately 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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