Cultural Identity: The Elements

Cultural Identity: The Elements

At the beginning we will need to have a clarification over terms similar to tradition, 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 offer 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 groups reminiscent of these based on nationality, ethnicity, region or widespread interests.

Identity is one other time period we should know about before understanding cultural identity. "The condition or character as to who a person or what a thing is."(2) The perfect 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 different types of identity in accordance with completely 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, faith, gender, profession and decadent culture.

Cultural identity is the identity of a bunch, tradition or of a person 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 might be simply defined as the sets of values, norms and beliefs that make the American people because the Americans. Collective identity will not be in battle with personal identity as each American has its own identity while the entire Individuals has a selected collective identity by which they're distinguished from the British people.

Talking in regards to the parts of the American cultural identity is tough, because there are many components that form it. To depend among the most necessary elements I go for the next ones.

• Language
English language is without doubt one of the parts that for my part have shaped the American cultural identity. It provides the Individuals a sense of getting a British origin and a sense 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 fantastic affect on shaping their collective identity.

• Egalitarianism
The idea of egalitarianism or having equal opportunities makes the second component of the American cultural identity. This sense that all of us are living in a land of opportunities, while others don't and we all are equal to have opportunities to live has integrated Americans as a whole.

• Exceptionalism and Nationalism
The idea of exceptionalism has instilled in Individuals mind by way of the history and as a result it has made them think that they're distinctive and particular individuals living in a land of opportunities. They consider in American Dream they usually think that they've had this probability to live on this land not another people. People imagine that they and only they're distinctive and this idea provides them a sense of nationalistic point of view. Being patriot is a quite common symbol of being an American and it has a lot to do with exceptionalism and nationalism. For example, US flag is considered a nationwide symbol and an emblem that integrates all Americans to a whole.

• Liberalism
Liberalism is undoubtedly probably the most influential ingredient 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 persons are free to work, worship, live, journey and so forth so forth so long as they respect every others' rights. Liberalism limits the influence the federal government has on the personal lives of the citizens as well. When people see that they're free to choose no matter they need under the liberalism umbrella, then they feel they are Americans and they acknowledge themselves as Americans.

• Individualism
Individualism has had a fantastic 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 sense by which he/she feels American because they consider it a result of residing in America and believing in American beliefs. Individualism isn't only about financial terms like property ownership. In terms of culture, cultural individualism is the idea that the whole Individuals see themselves as a person from which the thought of Americanism comes from.

• Pragmatism
Pragmatism, like individualism, has a Puritan origin. Individuals work very hard to achieve their goals. The query "What do you do?" is a quite common question in American culture. It implies that hard-working is a very important factor amongst Americans. Americans work very hard they usually always think concerning the results undermining the instruments by which they can achieve the ends. In accordance with the American multicultural context, pragmatist ideas which refuses any absolutes grew to become quite common because "somewhat than believing in absolutes it is believed that these ideas are changeable and depend upon the context in which they are being discussed." (four)

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