Investigating American Identity and Emotional Attachment

Simon, Aubrey
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National identity is a complex yet crucial topic. The current study investigated the content of American national identity, first by exploring the predominant scholarly perspectives on the topic. Scholars emphasized several important themes, namely shared ideals, civic participation, and diversity, including diverse ways of belonging to the nation. Diverse ways of belonging to the nation were then explored among individual Americans through survey and interview data. The survey found that while a majority of citizens strongly consider themselves American, a much smaller proportion considers Americanness to be one of the most salient aspects of their identity. Survey respondents also emphasized similar themes to those discussed by scholars as crucial to defining Americanness. Interview participants, too, highlighted these themes, and the interviews also shed light on the diversity of ways of belonging to the country.