Cultural Identity Essay

Essay should be between 4-5 pages (not longer than six pages total!)
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Cultural Identity Essay—This part of the midterm has specific content requirements. (40pts)
You will analyze and write about the details of your cultural identity
Begin by writing a brief “Coming to Seattle” story (this should be about one-two paragraphs at the most.)

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Write a brief description of your family’s roots and how they came to Seattle. Many of our families came to America generations ago, and some of us have just arrived. What is your family narrative around how you got here? Talk to family members and find out where your grandparents, great-grandparents, or great-great grandparents came from and why. How did you come to be in The U.S. and, in particular, Seattle? If you are adopted, briefly tell the story you know—either from your adoptive family or from what they’ve told you.

If you are a refugee or an immigrant, briefly tell the story of your journey to America. If you are an international student, state where your home is, and talk about some cultural differences you have noticed upon your arrival in the U.S. What have you learned about communication in the U.S? Is there anything specific that you want to share about you and your home country and communication or culture? Remember this part of the essay should only be two paragraphs at the most.

Before you begin, complete a Diversity Wheel for yourself. As you continue your essay, think and write about how this initial story of you and your family may be or is connected to your results on your Diversity Wheel. The majority of your essay should be focused on this analysis.

Watch the recording on Categories of Identity and our subjective experience as noted by Johnson in chapter 2.
Using the Identity Categories you have filled out in the Diversity Wheel, clearly identify yourself as either privileged or oppressed/disadvantaged as noted in the system of privilege in our dominant culture here in the United States for at least four of the identity categories on the diversity wheel
Talk about your subjective experience in the essay. Choose ONE of social identity categories where you identified yourself as privileged. After reviewing Johnson’s chapter 2, “Unearned Advantage or Conferred Dominance,” identify this ONE privilege that you recognize for yourself as “unearned advantage” or “conferred dominance.” EXPLAIN your thinking using our textbook. Be sure to DEFINE the terms in YOUR own words. If you quote, paraphrase (cite where this information is in our textbook).
Explain the social identity culture categories as you discuss these by using out textbook or your Social Identities form from Martin and Nakayama
Answer the following questions to analyze and explain your cultural identity, i.e. who YOU are:
For which social identity was it easiest (and why) to identify your status?
For which social identity was it more difficult (and why) to identify your status?
When you look at your overall profile, were there any surprises for you?
Which social identity memberships are you most aware of on a daily basis?
Which ones were you least aware of? Why?
Have you ever felt disadvantaged because of your non-dominant social identity categories? Explain why or why not. Did you have the “luxury of obliviousness”?
Have you ever been aware of privilege because of any of your dominant social identity categories? Describe what that looked like in the past or looks like now.

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