Do you agree that there is One Dominant Set of Traits that Make up an American Identity?
Identifying a common American identity can be unrealistic due to the fact that this nation is multicultural and heterogeneous. America is composed of people from different ethnic backgrounds who, apart from the native-Americans, are immigrants or settlers who came and established themselves there during the colonial era. Some of them like the African-Americans came as slaves while the rest including the Chicanos, Japanese, Jews, and the Mexicans came to offer their skills in the industries that were emerging. Despite this cultural diversity, there exists one dominant set of traits that make up an American identity. This paper explains the American identity.
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If you believe we can define one American identity, how would you define it?
The American identity is not based on the racial, ethnic, or religious characteristics, but rather it is defined by the common values and beliefs in individual freedom that the Americans hold. The American identity can therefore be defined as the core values and ideas that were established by its original Anglo Protestant settlers and have become embedded in the National Creed. These values, which define the American Identity, promote the principles of equality, individualism, liberty, populism and laissez-faire as indicated in the United State’s constitution. The American identify, is therefore based upon the commitment to the core values that govern this nation as expressed in the American creed.
How did you determine this definition?
The fact that the American identity is defined by the commitment to the core values that govern the state has raised many doubts. Many scholars perceive it as impossible, since the American population is increasingly becoming heterogeneous. On the contrary, researchers and political activists have since the 1960s found out that the immigrants who came into America did not entirely abandon their distinct identities.
These new groups that settled in America embraced multiculturalism and diversity on top of their original values and cultural attributes. They also changed their orientations through marriages and intergroup interactions to create the ‘American mosaic’. This mosaic refers to a unique cultural heritage that comprises of several racial and ethnic groups that had a distinct set of values beliefs that were acceptable to all.
These values later formed the core values through which the Americans are identified. This identity has been formalized and promulgated by the many learning institutions all over the United States. The Elementary and secondary learning institutions have developed and adopted a curricular that fosters the understanding of these values, and the cultural diversity. These learning institutions have achieved this by exposing the students to the customs and traditions of each ethnic group represented in America.
What sorts of examples can you find that are typical of an American character?
Some examples that are typical of an American character include:
- Americans are largely pragmatic, generous, well-meaning individuals. These character traits have been impacted upon them by their adherence to their values and beliefs.
- Americans have a greater pull towards love for freedom, a desire for economic advancement and the promise of fulfilling the American dream of having common aspirations and values.
- Americans do not enquire the identity of any stranger to their land. They do not try to find out who he is. On the contrary, they focus on what he can do for example his useful art and so on. If he has any useful art, he is welcomed and if he can exercise it and behave well, he gets respected.
In conclusion, an American identity exists, despite the fact that this nation is multicultural and heterogeneous. This identity is pegged upon the core values that govern the nation as embedded in its national creed. A nation or culture that has no identity ceases to exist, for it is through its identity that it gets publicized.