American Cultural Identity


Initially and foremost we ought to have a clarification more than terms such as culture, identity and cultural identity which leads us to the American cultural identity and its components. Culture is a pretty difficult term to define. “It has extra than a hundred definitions.” (1) To give a basic 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 planet views that define social groups such as these primarily based on nationality, ethnicity, area or widespread interests.

Identity is a different term we ought to know about ahead of understanding cultural identity. “The situation or character as to who a particular person or what a factor is.”(two) The very 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 perception of other people. There are various kinds of identity according to various strategies of categorizing of elements. Private identity, social identity and collective identity are 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 person, the identity derived from the collective shapes a portion of his or her private identity.” (three) The master forces of collective identity are nationality, ethnicity, religion, gender, profession and decadent culture.

Cultural identity is the identity of a group, culture or of an person as far as a single is influenced by one's belonging to a group 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 as the Americans. Collective identity is not in conflict with private identity as every American has its personal identity though the entire Americans has a certain collective identity by which they are distinguished from the British individuals.

Speaking about the components of the American cultural identity is tricky, mainly because there are quite a few components that shape it. To count some of the most critical components I go for the following ones.

&bull Language English language is a single of the components that in my view have shaped the American cultural identity. It offers the Americans a sense of getting a British origin and a feeling that the language their ancestors spoke was English like them and I assume it tends to make them assume of their Anglo-Saxon background. English language as the majority of the Americans speak has had a fantastic influence on shaping their collective identity.

&bull Egalitarianism The thought of egalitarianism or getting equal possibilities tends to make the second element of the American cultural identity. This sense that we all are living in a land of possibilities, though other people do not and we all are equal to have possibilities to reside has integrated Americans as a entire.

&bull Exceptionalism and Nationalism The thought of exceptionalism has instilled in Americans thoughts by way of the history and as a outcome it has created them assume that they are one of a kind and unique individuals living in a land of possibilities. They think in American Dream and they assume that they have had this opportunity to reside on this land not any other individuals. Americans think that they and only they are exceptional and this thought offers them a sense of nationalistic point of view. Getting patriot is a pretty widespread symbol of getting an American and it has a lot to do with exceptionalism and nationalism. As an instance, US flag is regarded as a national symbol and a symbol that integrates all Americans to a entire.

&bull Liberalism Liberalism is undoubtedly the most influential element of American cultural identity. The thought of liberalism in America is as old as the United States exactly where according the US Constitution the individuals are no cost to perform, worship, reside, travel and so on so forth as lengthy as they respect every others' rights. Liberalism limits the influence the government has on the private lives of the citizens as nicely. When individuals see that they are no cost to select what ever they want below the liberalism umbrella, then they really feel they are Americans and they recognize themselves as Americans.

&bull Individualism Individualism has had a fantastic influence on getting an American. It has a Puritan background. Individualism has helped the creation of home ownership and what is known as privacy. Ownership in America is of fantastic significance and it offers the owner a sense by which he/she feels American mainly because they take into account it a outcome of living in America and believing in American beliefs. Individualism is not only about financial terms like home ownership. In terms of culture, cultural individualism is the thought that the entire Americans see themselves as an person from which the thought of Americanism comes from.

&bull Pragmatism Pragmatism, like individualism, has a Puritan origin. Americans perform pretty tough to reach their targets. The query “What do you do?” is a pretty widespread query in American culture. It indicates that tough-functioning is a pretty critical element amongst Americans. Americans perform pretty tough and they generally assume about the outcomes undermining the tools by which they can reach the ends. In accordance with the American multicultural context, pragmatist tips which refuses any absolutes became pretty widespread mainly because “rather than believing in absolutes it is believed that these ideas are changeable and rely on the context in which they are getting discussed.” (four)

To conclude this write-up we can say that there are quite a few components by way of which the American individuals recognize themselves. A particular person is known as American when he/she believes in American beliefs, norms and values no matter whether he/she lives in America or not. That is, the term “Americanism” tends to make sense.


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