Attached is a list of 9 microcultures that most societies would recognize. Read through the different variations that are included in each of the microcultures. Be sure to note which ones are considered the dominant position (according to American society) & which ones are inherent/cannot be changed.
Once you are familiar with the basics of the microcultures, consider the following prompts/questions. Each one asks you to think about your own personal identity, possibly in ways you haven’t considered before. While this might seem easy, it can be fairly difficult because it asks you to consider elements of your identity that you may have been unaware of or hadn’t even considered as a factor in your decisions.
For each question/prompt, decide which of the microcultures best answers it for you. This means the answers will likely be different for everyone. For example, the identity I am most aware of at home is being female, because that directs a lot of my interactions. But the identity I am most aware of at work/school is my race because I’m a Caucasian woman in a position discussing racial minorities & diversity issues, so I have to pay attention to how I speak.
We are never just one thing – we are constantly a barrage of identities & values & belief systems. Your Cultural Autobiography is meant to help you understand who you are so you can be in a better position to help others by understanding where they’re coming from.
- This is the identity I am most aware of at home.
- This is the identity I am most aware of at work/school.
- This is the identity I know the most about.
- This is the identity I know the least about.
- This is the identity I tend to keep hidden.
- This is the identity I most like to share with others.
- This is the identity I think about most often.
- This is the identity I think about the least.
- When I think of my friends, this is the identity that we have most in common.
- When I think of my friends, this is the identity that we have the least in common.
- This is the identity I am most unsure of how to talk about.
- This is the identity that I think most people judge me by.
- This is the identity that brings me the most joy.
- This is the identity that brings me the most struggle, pain, challenge and/or concern.
- This is the identity I believe is the most important to me right now, in this room/at this moment.
When you’re finished, write a brief paragraph (150-250 words) in which you respond to this exercise – was it harder than expected? How did it make you feel to consider yourself like this? What did you learn?