Anda di halaman 1dari 2

AMERICAN CHARACTER

United States of America is a multinational and multicultural nation. Consequently, to determine its character it needs not only a natural process but also many researches. America has experienced in forming its own character since the independence. The oath of citizens taking has the role in it at lest in three sides. At first, many people from all around the world come to America and choose it as their new nationality. Their characteristics assimilate each other and unite as a melting pot. American character will rise after passing a long process when people move away from their basic culture little by little. Second, American citizenship is not considered by ones national blood but from where they were born. There is a freedom to change the citizenship because of agreement or achievement principal. Third, when people oath is taken, they will automatically recognize the laws and the constitutions of America. It means that people has confessed the equality the human rights, the justice and the government which form the nation. The basic of the national character occurs faster than the people awareness does. In fact, we only partially know about American main characteristics that form the character. However, the existence of American people and their hopes in this New World slowly made the national identity. Study of American character began at the beginning of twentieth century. It developed quickly after World War II in historical, literal, and intellectual research. With the invention of some social and behavioral studies since 30s era, national character concept has been accepted and able to develop its own methodology World War I rose skepticism, non-tolerance, and conservatism in American society. Foreign ideologies, especially communist, became the frightening things for them The main values in this age are materialism, obedience of society, and a feeling of regionalism. The proAmerican historian tended to raise the country and rural-urban peoples value individualism, autonomy, adaptability, and freedom. But their opponents said that the harm came from original American-born. The newcomers are considered to save American character from materialism and commercialism. Victory in World War II has ensured American people that they have been chosen for the holy mission to save the world. People also realize that they have material potency, technology, spirit and power to make it. Activities in social and humanistic studies reflected a broader purpose and bigger desire for understanding American character and culture related with its allies and rivals characters. In his writings of methodology, Inkeles said that there are three traditional perspectives to look at the national character: as national institutional patterns (politics, social, and economy), as behavioral and action history, and as cultural themes (religion, values ethos, arts). For the modern perspective he gave his opinion that national character should be equalized to personal structure. It means that national character is defined as one or some distribution of personal differences in a society New approaches developed by social studies and trying to find the halfway between personal and social characteristics have brought the value analysis to the higher level. Scholars not only formulate the concepts but also explain the values. Searching dominant and strong value system to be national character index is reasonable for a multicultural nation and in this masscommunication age. Those researches actually became keys for them to understand the American character that is difficult to investigate with other approaches After offering some values, scholars find that there is contradiction in American character. For example, in one side they formally confess independence, human rights, and justice but in the other side still there is race-discrimination for black people. Some scholars said

that it is a special characteristic of America people but others said that America has lost its own purpose as a nation. It shows us that American character is not something that really easy to determine, because America has its own complexity in culture, religion, life-style, etc. It reports many researches that are aimed to look for American character. It is completed with some scholars statements, opinions, and methods. In the other side, it less reports the American racediscrimination as the moment that is important in American characterization. The Discrimination has also been forming national character, just like World War I and II. Therefore, it should be reported more. It influences American people thought of equality and human rights, especially the issues between black people and white people.

References: Stevenson, Douglas K. 1996. American Life and Institutions. USA: Klett Publisher.