MUST BE WRITTEN FROM THE PRESPECTIVE OF AN AFRICAN AMERICAN FEMALE. MUST HAVE CRITICAL THINKING AND PERSONAL STORIES. MUST BE ORGANIZED. I lived in the rich, prodomenitly white suburbs of Phoenixville. You are to write a critical autobiography in which you analyze one or two dimensions of your cultural identity (i.e. gender, race, class, sexual identity). You may cover whatever you believe to be important. Due date: Hard copy must be submitted at the start of class. Do not submit via email or blackboard. Your paper needs to address the following: • Critical incidents, key events or important (“aha”) moments that reflect your cultural self. These could be something with drama or something fairly ordinary. These should serve as the foundation for an analysis (that is, each illustrates an analytical point). • Examination of cultural identity domination and subordination. If you are a member of a dominant group, you need to address the dynamics of privilege (e.g. did you know you had it, how might you challenge it, etc.). If you are a member of a subordinate group, you are to address how you learned to respond to oppression (e.g. how was it explained to you, what functional/dysfunctional reactions did you witness, etc.). • Discussion as to how this dimension of your cultural identity will shape your social work practice. What have you learned from this autobiography that will inform your practice? Please be assured that I understand that the material in this paper may be very sensitive. Don’t feel that you need to share every significant experience. The content of all papers will be kept confidential. A few pointers for this assignment: • The length is no more than 7 pages, double-spaced (I won’t read past page 7). Use 12-point fonts (such as this) and not small fonts (such as this). Use regular 1-inch margins. Meeting this requirement necessitates clear organization and concise writing on your part. • Do not give me your entire autobiography. You don’t have the space and the product will be too descriptive and superficial. This is an analysis of key points in your life that pertain to one or two dimensions of your cultural identity development, the resulting dynamics of domination and subordination, and how all this influences your development as a social worker. Be judicious in your autobiographical account – there should be a reason for the inclusion of a moment or event. • It is a good idea to have an introductory paragraph that explains what you intend to accomplish in your paper. This focuses the paper for the reader. It is also a good idea to have a concluding paragraph that summarizes the main points. • There is no need to bring in research or literature. Students whom have done this in the past tend to write highly abstract papers, rather than the critical self-reflection that is needed. • Be sure to provide examples to back up what you say. For example, don’t just write, “family is important in my culture”. Family is important in every culture, but in different ways. Explain that. Or, don’t state, “It’s important that we celebrate XYZ holiday”. Indicate why the celebration is important. • Proofread. And then proofread it again (or have someone else do it). Don’t rely on spell check or grammar check. Writing is a factor in my evaluation. Get assistance from the Writing Center if you think you need it. • My evaluation, for the most part, is based on how well you meet the assignment’s requirements and not on whether you have the world’s most fascinating life story. • Do not use those nasty plastic folders. They are bad of the environment. Staple your paper, and have your name and page number on every page. Questions to get you thinking These questions are intended to help you think about your personal identity in terms of culture. DO NOT ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS as if you were doing a take home exam. Instead, use them to remember illustrative events and spark your analysis. These are just suggestions – you will no doubt think of others. 1. What is your first recollection about your ethnicity, race, gender, or other cultural identity dimension? How did you come to identify with any group and to learn that there are “others?” Who were (are) defined as “outsiders” and “insiders” by your family or group? 2. What went into the formation of your ideas in regard to your own physical appearance and how does or did that relate to cultural identity? For example, do you admire certain color hair, size of nose, shape of lips? Why? 3. Who were your playmates and friends when growing up? Today? Who lived in your neighborhood? Who was a “desirable” friend to bring home? How did you select your dates, roommates, mates? Sexual taboos? Does this relate to aspects of culture? 4. Can you relate your educational aspirations, choice or use of special, schools and/or choice of profession to the aspirations of “your group?” Optimism vs. pessimism about these aspirations? “Aggressiveness” in pursuing? 5. What have you learned about how children “should” behave (i.e., should women work or who is the head of the family)? 6. When and how did you understand that prejudice, bias, discrimination and/or the “Isms” existed? Were explanations helpful, or did you receive negative messages (e.g. were censored) for trying to understand? Did understanding lead to action?