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Discussion about Identity

Discussion about Identity

Consider which size circle you’d draw on your Identity Person 2.0 to represent how you view race; is this circle the largest on your Identity Person 2.0? What about gender? is this a big circle or maybe a medium size circle… or maybe small because your gender isn’t something you think about? 

I would say, that as a 50 some year old female, I move through the world very cognizant of my Race –> Black, African American and very cognizant of my Gender –> Female. Hence the larger circles. Race for instance is non-negotiable; it is my reality, my lived experience. So, it means that events that I am seeing in the United States right now have a major impact on my emotional, mental, and even physical well-being. It is important for me to acknowledge that… to not acknowledge could be extremely problematic on these different levels. 

After you’ve drawn your circles on your Identity Person 2.0, I ask you to provide a simple sentence that serves as a self-descriptor of who you are; it can include (i.e., race, gender, religion, age, spirituality, ethnicity, etc…). Basically, use ANY and/or ALL of these to express which is most important to how you construct your identity? An example a student from another class I teach gave was, “I am a 20-year old bi-sexual Puerto Rican American female in a monogamous relationship from Southern California…” Yet another descriptor from a student in a different class, “I am a 29-year old Christian white gay male living with HIV in a monogamous relationship from Boston Massachusetts.” 

Here’s my descriptor is: “I AM a 59-year-old Black heterosexual female in a 26-year marriage who has lived in Burlington, Vermont; Cincinnati, Ohio; Lexington, Kentucky; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Boston, Massachusetts; and currently Los Angeles, California, my pronouns are she and her.”  


After you complete your Identity Person 2.0 and your self-descriptors please consider the following QUESTIONS for discussion:

1) Why were some aspects of identity included in your statement while others were neglected?

2) If you ranked the various identities in terms of the perceived relevance to your sense of “I” how might you explain the neglected identities?

3) What was missing from the identities proposed by the book’s author in this chapter? – were there any identities missing that you feel are important to how you see yourself?

4) Do you have to negotiate your identity(ies) as you move in and out of different cultural groups, friendships and/or organizations?

5) Finally, have any of your identities been subjected to issues related to stereotyping or prejudice based on the definitions the text provides and/or do any of your identities give you power or placement in groups that are more valued or important in your culture?





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