Sunday, December 29, 2019

Traditional Cultural Identity Essay - 1892 Words

People in traditional cultures define themselves through the belief, history and attitudes of their originating culture. Why then do Americans generally have such a strong sense of identity, one they characterize not only by their cultural or ethnic group, but by their self perceived personality traits, their stance as consumers, and personal opinions ? I posit that the average American builds up their own identity distinct from traditional cultural influences because America lacks an ingrained culture for its people to align themselves with, yet simultaneously pushes people to give up their previously held cultural identity to be considered Americans. As well, the contemporary US society pressures people to define themselves by the†¦show more content†¦When visiting the Czech Republic for a short time, I was struck by cultural differences: the different expression and valuing of art movements, architecture, and the social milieu. Even in a short visit to Austria, one could sense a distinct culture. I was fascinated by the idea that two people from two different cultures can have vastly different fundamental mindsets. One might question why I would make such sweeping statements about American opinion and society. Yet time and time again, research finds a vast gulf between the viewpoint of personal identity as held by Americans, and the viewpoint of, for example, East Asians (who I will be using as a not infrequent example in this paper as they hold the viewpoint perhaps most alien in comparison to Americans). Richard E. Nisbett writes almost exclusively on this gulf in his book ‘The Geography of Thought’ were he notes on page fifty â€Å"†¦the notion that there can be attributes or actions that are not conditioned on social circumstances is foreign to the Asian mentality†[3] and again on page fifty-one â€Å"In Chinese there is no word for ‘individualism’. The closest one can come is the word for ‘selfishness’†.[3] Another example of the vast differences in mindset between the two is their approach to ‘logical’ reasoning. In East Asian thinking, a logical presentation of one’s point of view is considered immature, while AmericanShow MoreRelatedThe Connection Between Food Study and Cultural Identity Essay examples556 Words   |  3 Pageswhich we are a part. Food study and cultural identity is bound to be connected. The two books used as resources consider food as a serious topic unlike many other books and they touch on some of the most important questions that we can ask about what it means to be human in general. In this book called We are what we eat by Donna R. Gabaccia, the author insists that food is one area. After initial hesitation, colonial settlers mixed in local ingredients in traditional dishes. 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