Cultural Identity: The Parts

Cultural Identity: The Parts

At the start we must have a clarification over phrases equivalent to tradition, identity and cultural identity which leads us to the American cultural identity and its elements. Tradition is a very difficult term to define. "It has more than a hundred definitions." (1) To present a easy definition and no to confused with the hundred of the definitions we will define culture as follows: culture refers back to the customs, practices, languages, values and world views that define social groups such as those based mostly on nationality, ethnicity, area or frequent 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 best way to define the time period identity is a solution to the question who am I? We can say that identity is about our self-perception and notion of others. There are different types of identity in line with totally 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 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 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 could be simply defined as the sets of values, norms and beliefs that make the American people as the Americans. Collective identity is not in conflict with personal identity as each American has its own identity while the entire People has a selected collective identity by which they are distinguished from the British people.

Talking concerning the parts of the American cultural identity is troublesome, because there are various parts that shape it. To count a number of the most vital parts I'm going for the following ones.

• Language
English language is among the components that in my view have shaped the American cultural identity. It offers the People 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 Individuals speak has had an excellent influence 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 live in a land of opportunities, while others do not and we all are equal to have opportunities to live has integrated Americans as a whole.

• Exceptionalism and Nationalism
The concept of exceptionalism has instilled in People mind by the history and in consequence it has made them think that they are unique and particular folks living in a land of opportunities. They consider in American Dream and so they think that they've had this chance to live on this land not any other people. Individuals consider that they and only they are exceptional and this concept offers them a way 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 instance, US flag is considered a national symbol and a logo that integrates all People to a whole.

• Liberalism
Liberalism is undoubtedly essentially the most influential factor of American cultural identity. The concept of liberalism in America is as old because the United States where according the US Constitution the persons are free to work, worship, live, travel and so on so forth so long as they respect each others' rights. Liberalism limits the influence the government has on the personal lives of the citizens as well. When people see that they're free to decide on whatever they need under the liberalism umbrella, then they feel they are People 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's called privacy. Ownership in America is of great 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 will not be only about economic phrases like property ownership. By way of tradition, cultural individualism is the idea 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. People work very hard to achieve their goals. The query "What do you do?" is a very common question in American culture. It signifies that hard-working is a very important factor amongst Americans. People 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 became very common because "slightly 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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