Culture and Diversity

Opinion Paper #1 Culture and Diversity     Objective:    This assignment is to help students enhance their understanding of their cultural identity and how it influences their attitudes, values, and beliefs about themselves, other people, and the world in which they live in.    Materials Needed:   Textbooks Critical Thinking Skills Memories and Experiences An Awareness of Self   Procedure:   As per Wikipedia, cultural identity is the (feeling of) identity of a group or culture, or of an individual as far as he or she is influenced by her belonging to a group or culture. This is a rather bland and static definition of cultural identity. In fact psychological researchers have found that cultural identity is a very dynamic and lively variable that influences our personality, thoughts, perceptions, beliefs, expectations, and perspectives of how people function in the world. Below is a list of a few variables that have been known to influence the development of our cultural identity:   Ø  Race/Ethnicity Ø  Gender Ø  Sexual Orientation Ø  Socio-Economic Status Ø  Religion Ø  Age Ø  Body Weight Ø  Ability/Disability   Activity Essay:   Write a brief essay (3 pages) that describes how three of the variables listed above have influenced the development of your personality, attitudes, and/or perspectives of the world. For instance, here are some sample questions you could be asking yourself (depending on the variables you pick):   Ø  How has being male influenced some of the ways I look at myself? Ø  How has being African American affected my view of the world? Ø  How has my religion influenced the way I treat other people? Ø  Being rich or poor has affected me how? Ø  What are some of my personality traits that have been affected by being female? Ø  How have my values been affected by me being heterosexual?     Purpose:   As noted throughout the text book, we, as a society, still struggle with racism, ageism, sexism, and other types of discrimination and prejudice. Therefore, it is important that we, as a society, take steps learn how to APPRECIATE (not tolerate, understand, or accept) people with cultural differences from our own. It is my opinion that the first step in this process is self-awareness. In my opinion being self-aware provides people with insight into their actions, beliefs, standards, and biases. It is important that we know ourselves before we can begin to appreciate other cultures. As a result, the assignment asks you to think about questions that may seem simple, yet are complex and sometimes uncomfortable.   Final Instructions:   Paper must be in APA format – points will be taken off for formatting that is incongruent with APA. You will need a title page for the paper and it should also be in APA format. Your paper should be at least three complete pages – double space with congruent margins with APA format. Use Times New Roman in 12 point font. Points will also be taken off from grammatical and spelling errors.

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