AMS american me final

AMS american me final - 1 Megan Wauschek Kristen Williams...

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1 Megan Wauschek Kristen Williams AMS205A April 26, 2011 American Me: Final Essay “In reference to social categories, identity has long carried the meaning of relational and mutable identifications, actuated either by the individual’s chosen identifications or by others who label individuals or groups based on characteristics and behaviors that seem shared” (Kaplan, 124) When I think of my own identity, I often think about contextualizing myself through my social identity. One identity category that I would use to define myself, in regards to a socially constructed and perceived identity, is by my class: both social and economic. Social class implies the certain values, quality, and virtue one may hold, where as, economic class is traditionally defined by capitol or the amount and type of financial resources at one’s disposal. “Class, as British historian and cultural studies scholar E. P. Thompson (1963) insisted, is a relational category, always defined against and in tension with its dialectical others.” (Keywords 50) This is a way of saying that class only is defined in a contrasting way, comparing class only by what it is not. Being aware of my class and having a sense of this social identity can help me to identify with and feel united to others like me, but can also help bring to attention the differences that come with being who I am compared to others who do not share a similar social identity. One’s social and economic class is directly related to how fully they are able to participate in the “American” experience. Because my class is a category that was
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2 constructed for me, and not chosen by me, I have had the privilege of living and participating in the “American” Nation-state my entire life. Some “Americans” do not have this privilege. A national myth can be defined as “stories we tell each other as a culture in order to explain complexities and to banish contradictions, thus making the world seem simpler.” (Campbell and Kean 9) One example of a national myth, that “Americans” seem to cling to is one that is deeply rooted in our country’s past The United States Declaration of Independence claims that “all men are created equal” and
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AMS american me final - 1 Megan Wauschek Kristen Williams...

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