Cultural Identity: The Elements

Cultural Identity: The Elements

Firstly we will need to have a clarification over terms such as culture, identity and cultural identity which leads us to the American cultural identity and its elements. Culture is a really difficult term to define. “It has more than a hundred definitions.” (1) To provide a easy definition and no to confused with the hundred of the definitions we will define tradition as follows: culture refers to the customs, practices, languages, values and world views that define social teams equivalent to those based mostly on nationwideity, ethnicity, region or common interests.

Identity is another time period we must know about before 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 term identity is an answer to the query who am I? We are able to say that identity is about our self-perception and perception of others. There are different types of identity according to different ways of categorizing of aspects. Personal 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 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, religion, gender, profession and decadent culture.

Cultural identity is the identity of a group, culture or of an individual as 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 may be simply defined because the sets of values, norms and beliefs that make the American people because the Americans. Collective identity isn’t in conflict with personal identity as each American has its own identity while the entire Americans has a particular 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 many components that form it. To count some of the most important elements I am going for the next ones.

• Language

English language is among the elements that in my view have formed the American cultural identity. It offers 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 most importantity of the Americans speak has had an amazing affect on shaping their collective identity.

• Egalitarianism

The idea of egalitarianism or having equal opportunities makes the second ingredient of the American cultural identity. This sense that all of us reside in a land of opportunities, while others don’t 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 People mind by way of the history and consequently it has made them think that they are unique and particular individuals residing in a land of opportunities. They imagine in American Dream they usually think that they’ve had this chance to live on this land not another people. Americans imagine that they and only they’re distinctive and this thought provides 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. As an example, US flag is considered a national symbol and a symbol that integrates all Individuals to a whole.

• Liberalism

Liberalism is undoubtedly the most influential aspect of American cultural identity. The thought of liberalism in America is as old as the United States the place according the US Constitution the people 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’re free to decide on whatever they want under the liberalism umbrella, then they feel they’re Americans they usually recognize themselves as Americans.

• Individualism

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’s called privacy. Ownership in America is of nice significance and it offers 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 economic terms like property ownership. In terms of tradition, cultural individualism is the concept that the entire Americans see themselves as a person from which the concept of Americanism comes from.

• Pragmatism

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 implies that hard-working is a vital factor amongst Americans. Americans work very hard they usually always think concerning 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 very common because “slightly than believing in absolutes it is believed that these concepts are changeable and rely upon the context in which they are being discussed.” (4)

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