Who We Are: Constructivism and the Dual Personality of American Nationalism
AbstractConstructivism, as an approach to the study of nationalism, best explains American identity as perceptions of ourselves and our destinies â€œconstructedâ€ or shaped through messages from various media. In America, various messages and myths based on ideas rather than ethnicity continually shape identity. Formation identity involves debate between competing liberal and civic ideologies. In addition, American national identity finds beginnings in religious imagery and linguistic commonality. Key American values such as equality receive lip service and then come under attack as forces attempt to define a uniform American identity in the name of cultural assimilation. Counterattacks come as multiculturalists see protection of liberty and individuality as key to American identity. Enigmatic, contradictory and continuously changing, American nationalism at times becomes a battle between extremes.
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