What is an American?

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 136
  • Published : April 7, 2014
Open Document
Text Preview
What is an American?
The definition of who an American is, or what an American is varies from person to person. Perspectives about this subject can turn controversial because what one’s opinion about who and what an American is may be completely different than another’s. The bottom line is that America is a nation filled with a diversity of cultures. Regardless of what other people may suggest that an American is, I think that someone who has migrated to the United States and has lived here half their life, and built a new life here in the United States leaving their past behind is considered an American. There are those who think otherwise they have a mentality of “If you weren’t born in America, you’re not American.” All Americans have in some way different beliefs, values, and perspectives. The upbringing and beliefs, values and perspectives come from the country that the family once came from. People sometimes forget that America wasn’t always like it is today. America was once inhabited by Native American which were Indians basically, they are the true Americans, they are the pure Americans, and only a few are left. A perfect article that describes the way Americans feel is One Hundred Percent American by Ralph Linton. This article describes what each American does each day, and explains where it really originated from. Most of the time “Americans” believe that they are superior than other cultures because they look at all the things America does and glamourizes them, they look up to it, and they don’t pass some of the necessities other countries have like running water, strong electrical power to plug in all the high tech things now invented. Most of the time when americans read, see or hear about another culture they react as if that culture was something out of the ordinary like in Individualism as an American Cultural Value by Poranee Natadecha-Sponsel. . Individualism as an American Cultural Value by Poranee Natadecha-Sponsel provides examples that prove individualism in the American culture. Also example of why america can be considered a country of consumerism. From reading different articles I have come to the conclusion that the American culture over all includes these seven components; Individualism, capitalism, modernism, religiosity, secularism, consumerism, and monolingualism. In the article What is an American by Peter Ferrara who can be an American is perfectly described. If you ask little kids what it means to them to be an American they can give you a response like “It is great to be an American. We get to play sports and eat lots of food. We get lots of toys, all because we are free — the best thing of all. Austin B., 11, Wisconsin.” Why so much emphasis on freedom? If I go to my parent’s home land in Mexico I can pretty much do the same. If they weren’t free in their country why didn’t they decide to move to Mexico or Canada why America? The answer is actually pretty simple America is what these children actually think it is and even better. While Mexico is free the economic opportunities are very small if any. In the United States the economic opportunities are endless. “Being an American is about being free and loyal. It's about having freedom of religion, rights, and justice. It's also about being about yourself. Sarah K., 10, Wisconsin”. If a 10-year-old knows this than why can’t other ignorant adults not understand. Why do older people make it so difficult to be different, to look different? Everyone is an American because they all have a dream, to succeed. One of these 10-year-olds may have been born in another country, but at such a young age them being raised here makes them an American. People shouldn’t discriminate them because they are of a different culture. America is very diverse and nothing is 100% American, because everything originated somewhere else and was brought along with the immigrants who came to this country. If you were to ask a person what does an...