Cultural Identity: The Elements

Firstly we will need to have a clarification over terms comparable to tradition, identity and cultural identity which leads us to the American cultural identity and its elements. Tradition is a really complicated term to define. “It has more than a hundred definitions.” (1) To give a simple 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 reminiscent of these based mostly on nationality, ethnicity, region or common interests.

Identity is another time period we should know about earlier than understanding cultural identity. “The condition or character as to who an individual or what a thing is.”(2) The very best way to define the term identity is a solution to the question who am I? We can say that identity is about our self-notion and perception of others. There are different types of identity in keeping with 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 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, religion, gender, profession and decadent culture.

Cultural identity is the identity of a gaggle, culture or of a person so 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 because the sets of values, norms and beliefs that make the American people as the Americans. Collective identity shouldn’t be in battle 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 numerous parts that shape it. To depend a number of the most necessary elements I’m going for the following ones.

• Language

English language is likely one of the parts that in my opinion have formed the American cultural identity. It provides the People 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 foremostity of the Americans speak has had a great affect on shaping their collective identity.

• Egalitarianism

The concept of egalitarianism or having equal opportunities makes the second ingredient of the American cultural identity. This sense that all of us are living in a land of opportunities, while others don’t and all of us are equal to have opportunities to live has integrated People as a whole.

• Exceptionalism and Nationalism

The thought of exceptionalism has instilled in Individuals mind by the history and consequently it has made them think that they are distinctive and particular folks dwelling in a land of opportunities. They imagine in American Dream and so they think that they have had this chance to live on this land not another people. Americans believe that they and only they’re exceptional and this concept offers them a sense of nationalistic level of view. Being patriot is a very common symbol of being an American and it has much to do with exceptionalism and nationalism. For instance, US flag is considered a nationwide symbol and a symbol that integrates all Individuals to a whole.

• Liberalism

Liberalism is undoubtedly essentially the most influential aspect of American cultural identity. The concept of liberalism in America is as old as the United States the place according the US Constitution the persons 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 federal government has on the personal lives of the citizens as well. When folks see that they are free to decide on whatever they want under the liberalism umbrella, then they feel they are Individuals and they recognize themselves as Americans.

• Individualism

Individualism has had an excellent 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 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. When it comes to tradition, cultural individualism is the concept that the whole People see themselves as a person from which the thought of Americanism comes from.

• Pragmatism

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 query in American culture. It means that hard-working is a vital factor among Americans. Individuals work very hard and so they always think concerning the outcomes undermining the tools by which they’ll 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.” (4)

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