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Learning Goal: I’m working on a writing multi-part question and need the explanation and answer to help me learn.

Assignment #1 Cultural Autobiography

Below are the nine microcultures that make up our cultural identity class, race, ethnicity, gender, language, religion, exceptionality, age, and geography. All of us belong to a subgroup within each microculture, but our composite identity is based on 1) the relation between us and the dominant subgroup in each microculture, and 2) on the interaction among microcultures. For example, I may be a Jew living in a predominantly Christian community, and that cultural conflict may have a negligible or a profound impact on me. Likewise, being a girl with three brothers and no sisters may have affected my attitudes and behavior as a young girl and may still influence the way I view the world.

In your cultural autobiography, you must address all nine microcultures. It is not enough merely to state, for example, that you are a White, Irish American, English-speaking male etc. or a second-generation Chinese American, multilingual female who was raised in a middle class family etc. You must take each microculture one at a time and explain how your membership in a particular subgroup has helped to create the kind of person you are and is likely to influence the kind of educator you will become. Begin with the microculture that currently has the most impact on you as a cultural person and work down to the least influential microculture. This should take some careful thinking.

If you are part of any dominant subgroups (as I suspect most of you are), you must address the concept of privilege, particularly White, (upper) middle class, and language privilege.

The cultural autobiography should be an honest expression of who you perceive yourself to be along a cultural continuum. Think carefully about each category and provide enough details to create a vivid portrait of your unique cultural identity.


* = those microcultures that are immutable

** = the dominant subcultures

A. Class (socioeconomic status) (3)

  1. Underclass below poverty level, homeless
  2. Working class – lower middle class, blue collar
  3. Middle class white collar and low-level managerial / administrative **
  4. Upper middle class professionals, high-level managerial / administrative
  5. Upper class professionals, top-level managerial / administrative, inherited wealth and social status

B. Race * (5)

  1. Caucasian (Whites) **
  2. African American (Blacks)
  3. American Indian, Eskimo
  4. Asian / Pacific Islander
  5. Hispanic
  6. Other

C. Ethnicity * (5, CUBAN)

  1. Western European **
  2. Central / Eastern European
  3. Asian
  4. African
  5. Latino
  6. Other

D. Gender / sexual orientation * (2)

  1. Male **
  2. Female
  3. Heterosexual **
  4. Homosexual
  5. Bisexual
  6. Transgender

E. Language (2, ENGLISH 7 SPANISH)

  1. Monolingual (English only) **
  2. Bilingual (English as primary language)
  3. ESL (English as a second language)
  4. Multilingual (fluent in more than two languages)

F. Religion (2)

  1. Christianity Protestantism **
  2. Christianity Catholicism
  3. Christianity Other (e.g. Mormon, Jehovahs Witness, Christian Scientist)
  4. Eastern Orthodox
  5. Judaism
  6. Islam
  7. Buddhism
  8. Hindu
  9. Other

G. Exceptionality * (1)

  1. Non-disabled **
  2. Physically disabled
  3. Mentally retarded
  4. Learning disabled

H. Age * (4, 24)

  1. Infancy
  2. Youth
  3. Adolescence
  4. Young adulthood **
  5. Middle age
  6. Aged (elderly)

Geography (Miami, fl)

  1. Regional (e.g. Midwest, New England, Southwest, etc.)
  2. Location (e.g. urban, suburban, rural)
  3. Environmental (e.g. mountains, desert, coastal)