There are many discussions about this controversial topic of national identity. There are many surveys, which gather the people’s opinion. But how are we affected when hearing the thoughts of others? This notion hides many aspects and some of them do have a negative meaning. There are many traces on the historical paths, which reveal the cruel points of national identity.
This college writing sample will provide you with many facts as well as subjective opinions to explore the issue fully.
National Identity: The Overlook
As any social issue, the topic of national identity influences many life processes, from migration to the development of culture. However, we should always remember that there are two sides of one coin. So far, national identity has the positive, as well as the negative impact on the people’s character.
The truth is, all people are different in their similarity. Comparing ourselves with other people, we try to find the common aspects. For example, the popular idea is that it is better to study on the mistakes of someone else. We live thinking that the nations are different, but constantly trying to find at least something similar in the people around us.
The humanity faced many wars throughout the history. Mostly, the point was in national identity. Empires arose to unite the nations, but faced the end in some time. It happened because the freedom of certain nations was limited with some restrictions.
The current state of things
Nowadays, it is very confusing to hear the idea that all people are equal in their abilities and chances, at the same time hearing about the situation with migrants. We call it to be an absurd when the Afro-Americans were used as slaves in the USA some centuries ago. But what do we call an absurd now? Let us discuss.
Positive side of a coin
Throughout the history, there were many occasions when the nations were a part of big countries or empires having no freedom rights. The feeling of the national identity, which stood in a form of common language, traditions, and cultural heritage, united the people and gave a powerful impulse for them to struggle.
There were also some extreme aspects of national identity, when the people inside one country became completely closed from the outside world. They faced the lack of development since a huge gap between the world and one exact nation appeared.
Probably the best example would be Japan. The country we know nowadays was «opened» in the 19th century. Until that time, the country was very conservative with a great influence of traditions and cultural roots.
Identity as a Political Speculation
The political regimes may appear and crash in the shortest time. However, the biggest problem people suffer when some political transformations happen. Politicians want people to unite by the feeling of national identity. So far, they can protect the needed political regime or provide the political forces with the humans’ power.
This is called speculation, as the personal interests of some politicians become the main part of a game, where people and even nations are involved either.
Identity as Experience
Each person due to his own experience builds the personal sense of national identity. It seems very important to use the practical knowledge, which was gained throughout the life in the various situations.
For instance, some surveys were held in Great Britain. They have shown that the majority of British people feel British. It means they are accustomed to the national cultural heritage and associate themselves with it.
National Identity: Positive Look
If you have a positive look at the phenomenon of national identity, you can definitely call it a patriotism. When a person feels full of love to the native land wanting it to grow and bloom, he or she has a patriotic character.
This point also includes the right behavior, which would be appropriate to other world’s nations. It means speaking the native language, but also to have a respect to other ones, to meet foreigners as guests and make them feel welcome and so on.
If you have a negative look at the phenomenon of national identity, it can be called a chauvinism. It means a military, cultural and economic danger, which involves the other nations into the one political process. Another way is when people of one nation do not accept other nations at all. They can even think that their culture and race are higher than those of other nations in many aspects.
On the controversy
On the other hand, when a nation becomes a part of the empire, it becomes stronger. The unity of people is more expressive than ever in other conditions. People will grow self-conscious quicker, so they will achieve the aim of national identity in the shorter period of time.
National and Racial Identity
The supposition that the national and racial identities are equal sounds quite offensive in regards to some nations, which differ in the cultural aspects as well in racial diversity. Obviously, it is not quite right to think that representatives of the same race are similar. All cultures within the single race have a lot of distinguishing features in culture, behavior, way of thinking, etc.
The easiest way to distinguish nations is the language. Language forms are the basement for cultural heritage, and so far, for the national identity.
Culture to Form the Identity
If you talk about the cultural aspects of national unity, the other forms of it should also be mentioned. Some of them are ethnic traditions, which were told from one generation to another mostly orally. The next point is literature. Authors’ writings and even the scientific works hold the national idea, which is widely spread with the help of words.
The list of cultural background is not full. One may fill it with his ideas and thoughts to create the platform for others’ developing.
To make the story short, the culture changes along with the social or historical processes. Besides, it is much influenced by people who obtain it. If we want to save the national identity, with each our action we should give the part of our soul and heart to the national culture.