Cultural Identity: The Components

Cultural Identity: The Components

At the start we will need to have a clarification over terms resembling tradition, identity and cultural identity which leads us to the American cultural identity and its elements. Tradition is a really complicated time period to define. "It has more than a hundred definitions." (1) To present a simple definition and no to confused with the hundred of the definitions we can define tradition as follows: culture refers back to the customs, practices, languages, values and world views that define social teams similar to these based mostly on nationality, ethnicity, region or frequent interests.

Identity is one other 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 perfect way to define the time period identity is an answer to the question who am I? We will say that identity is about our self-perception and notion of others. There are totally different types of identity in response to completely 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 person, 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, 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 group or culture. Then cultural identity is a collective identity.

The American cultural identity may be merely defined as the sets of values, norms and beliefs that make the American individuals as the Americans. Collective identity is not in battle with personal identity as each American has its own identity while the whole People has a specific collective identity by which they are distinguished from the British people.

Talking about the components of the American cultural identity is troublesome, because there are a lot of elements that form it. To rely a few of the most essential components I'm going for the following ones.

• Language
English language is without doubt one of the parts that in my view have shaped the American cultural identity. It provides the Individuals 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 most importantity of the Individuals speak has had an excellent influence on shaping their collective identity.

• Egalitarianism
The concept of egalitarianism or having equal opportunities makes the second aspect of the American cultural identity. This sense that we all are living in a land of opportunities, while others do not and all of us are equal to have opportunities to live has integrated Individuals as a whole.

• Exceptionalism and Nationalism
The idea of exceptionalism has instilled in Individuals mind through the history and because of this it has made them think that they are unique and particular people living in a land of opportunities. They imagine in American Dream they usually think that they have had this likelihood to live on this land not every other people. Individuals imagine that they and only they are distinctive and this thought offers them a sense of nationalistic level of view. Being patriot is a very common image of being an American and it has a lot to do with exceptionalism and nationalism. For example, US flag is considered a national symbol and a logo that integrates all People to a whole.

• Liberalism
Liberalism is undoubtedly probably the most influential aspect of American cultural identity. The concept of liberalism in America is as old because the United States where according the US Constitution the people are free to work, worship, live, journey and so on so forth so long as they respect each others' rights. Liberalism limits the affect the federal government has on the personal lives of the citizens as well. When individuals see that they're free to decide on whatever they want under the liberalism umbrella, then they feel they're People and so they acknowledge themselves as Americans.

• Individualism
Individualism has had an important 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 provides the owner a way by which he/she feels American because they consider it a result of residing in America and believing in American beliefs. Individualism just isn't only about economic terms like property ownership. When it comes to tradition, cultural individualism is the concept the entire People see themselves as an individual 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 question in American culture. It implies that hard-working is an important factor amongst Americans. Americans work very hard and they always think about 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 turned quite common because "moderately than believing in absolutes it is believed that these concepts are changeable and depend on the context in which they are being discussed." (4)

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