Describe your cultural legacy or culture(s) of origin—at this point you should plan on a paragraph or two.
Does spirituality play a significant role in the identity of this group or the lives of the group members that is different than the role of religion?Explain
The Personal Narrative Essay – Required Content
Beginning with Ourselves In-Context: An Exploration of the Facets of Identity
Your paper MUST be SIX pages minimum
INTRODUCTION (25 pts)
- Introduce yourself to your readers. What would you like your learning colleagues to know about you as they read your essay and prepare to begin a conversation with you about your life experiences and worldview?
(This might be one paragraph but not more than a page if you have a complex background.)
- Describe your cultural legacy or culture(s) of origin—at this point you should plan on a paragraph or two.
Below are suggestions that may apply to you:
For those born in the US who descended from immigrants:
Your culture of origin refers to the major group(s) from which you have descended that was the first generation to come to the United States.
Use discretion in deciding how many groups to include based on your experience; you should be inclusive enough to create an accurate picture.
For African-American students the legacy of slavery may restrict the ability to trace family origins back to their roots.
Thus you might begin with your great-grandparents’ or grandparents’ generation as the culture of origin
(if you can go back further do so).
For international students identify your culture of origin by starting with your great
Great-grandparents’ generation (or further back if possible).
Identify the country of their birth to arrive at the group(s) that comprises your culture of origin. If you think it is appropriate feel free to consider racial and ethnic make-up in the identification of cultural origins.
For students who were adopted or raised in multiple homes or facilities you have some options. You may use the culture of origin of the family of upbringing or for those raised in various homes the culture of origin of the household to which you felt most connected.
In either case if you have experience or information about your family of origin (i.e. birth family) you may also choose to use their culture as your culture of origin.
Honor the complexity of your background even if you need to amend the guidelines slightly. This exercise is about your learning so make sure it works for you and reflects the heritage with which you identify even if the way you represent it looks different than how you think it should look.
DISCUSSION (50 pts)
As you begin to work to work of the discussion section you may find it necessary to do some outside research on your culture/country of origin. As always when using resource materials
– including your textbook – make sure that you cite all sources using APA format. To use textbook or other resource materials without citing is plagiarism and is NOT acceptable. If you use outside information you MUST include a reference page at the end of your paper.
This section of your paper should address most or all of the following questions. It will probably be easiest if you create a section for each of your cultures of origin if you have more than one.
Within each culture you may want to create additional sub-sections as needed in response to specific questions. (At certain points you might also want to acknowledge differences between different strands of your family in regard to one particular organizing principle).
Questions to consider about each cultural group include:
Unless you are Native American or an international colleague residing in the US on a temporary basis under what conditions did you or your family (descendants) enter the US (immigrant political refugee slave undocumented alien and so on)?
What were/are the group’s experiences with oppression? Provide one or more key examples? Were or are there any markers of oppression?
What issues divide members within this group? Are there sources of intragroup conflict?
Is/are there a dominant religion among members of this group? What role does religion play in the identity of the group? In the everyday lives of the members of the group?
Does spirituality play a significant role in the identity of this group or the lives of the group members that is different than the role of religion?
Does regionality and geography play a role in the group?
How are gender/sex roles defined within the group? How is sexual orientation regarded?
What significance does race skin color hair or other facial or bodily features play within the group?
What prejudices or stereotypes does this group have about itself? (i.e. how does this group see itself?)
What prejudices or stereotypes do other groups have about this group?
What prejudices or stereotypes does this group have about other groups? (Be as specific as you can)
How are names given assigned or acquired among group members? Are there rules rituals or traditions governing names and naming? Can one discern anything about a person by hearing his or her name?
How is social class defined by this group? Does this group identify itself in terms of social class?
How is family defined? What is the importance of family?
What occupational roles were valued and devalued by the group?
How have the organizing principles of this group shaped your family? Are there specific ways these organizing principles have manifested in your family system? What effect have they had on you?
How might some of the organizing principles of this group influence your attitudes toward individuals or groups from similar and dissimilar cultural backgrounds that you might encounter in your personal/professional life?
If more than one group comprises your culture of origin how were the differences between these cultures negotiated in your family?
Were there intergenerational consequences? How has this affected you personally and how might it carry over to personal/ professional relationships particularly when notable cultural differences exist?
If a particular question doesn’t seem relevant skip it. If other questions come to mind that you want to answer please do so.
SUMMARY (10 pts)
This section of the paper should close with a summation of the most important points you learned about your culture/country of origin.
Conclude with your reflections about how the impact of your culture(s) of origin is likely to influence your life. 2-3 well written paragraphs – do not introduce new information.