The United States’ national identity is eroding, according to a majority of respondents in a new survey, many of whom say divisions between Americans are too deep to unify the country.
The report is by the Bradley Project on America’s National Identity, a group of scholars, educators, and others that has studied key areas of the nation’s civic life over the last two years.
It calls for a national discussion of the common values that help define what it means to be an American, improved civic education, and promotion of the principles of good citizenship.
While most survey respondents agreed that the United States has a unique national identity, six in 10 believe that identity is getting weaker, and four in 10 disagree that there is a distinct American culture.
In fact, 45 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds surveyed said “international law should trump the U.S. Constitution in instances where there is a conflict,” the report states.
A version of this article appeared in the June 11, 2008 edition of Education Week