Cultural Self-Study Essay

Instructions:  As stated in your syllabus, “This
assignment will heighten awareness of your own identity and other diverse
populations to foster the development of a sense of self in relationship to
others. This paper is a personal narrative and assessment of how you view
yourself in the broader environment of differences.”

 

This
paper will be in APA format, 8 10 pages (not including cover page and any
listing of references) double-spaced Do NOT single
space.  This
assignment must incorporate the textbook chapter readings by bolding six key
terms/concepts. You must also explain how they “fit” your narrative.

 

This
assignment must be completed as a narrative. Do not repeat
the questions and do not break the paper down to subsections, e.g., a, b, &
c. The paper MUST be divided into the identified sections (sections 1 8).  The student is required to integrate
at least six
concepts (i.e., one concept from each chapter in your textbook. You should use
key terms/concepts from the textbook up to the required readings at the time of
the due date.
You MUST bold only the terms/concepts in your paper.  Do NOT bold the complete definitions.  You MUST include an
explanation regarding “how’ the key term/concept applies to your narrative. A
couple of sentences will work.

 

Respond
according to your comfort level. What you share is between you and the
instructor. You only need to complete at least one per section, no more than
two pages.

 

Structure of the paper:

 

1.      
Gender:(minimum one page maximum two pages)

 

a)       Answer a few of  the following relevant questions regarding
yourself:
 What is your earliest memory of
you being aware of yourself as a male or female? How do you see or describe
yourself as a female or a male? How do persons who are of the same sex see you?
How do persons who are not of the same sex see you? What do you like about
being female or male? What do you dislike about being female or male? What did
you learn when you were growing up about acting like a man (for males) or a
woman (for females)? When was the first time you realized that boys and girls
were treated differently because of their sex?

 

b)       Describe your experience
(again, what is relevant):
What advantages or disadvantages have you
experienced because of your sex?  How
have you responded to any awareness of gender inequality? How well do you
relate to males and females? Give examples. Do you have issues that may make it
difficult for you to help clients of a different sex/ gender?

 

What in your assigned readings and class discussions
supports or contrasts with the information you know about gender? How might you
challenge yourself to be more gender-sensitive and to combat sexism?

 

2.      
Ethnicity/Nationality: (minimum
one page maximum two pages)

 

a)      
Answer a few of the following relevant questions regarding yourself:  What do you know about your ethnic heritage?
Describe what you know about your first or last name’s heritage or any
culturally significant name change(s) in your family background. What country
or countries would you identify as your ancestral geographic base?  What values, behavioral patterns, language,
political and economic interest, and/or history of the identified ethnic
group(s) are parts of which you are your values, language, or history? What do
you know about your ancestors and how they came to live in the United States?  How do their experiences and histories affect
you? Describe an aspect of your ethnic heritage that you are proud of and an
aspect you are not proud of.  What was
the ethnic composition of the neighborhoods in which you have lived? How much
contact have you had with members of other ethnic groups?

 

b)      
Describe your most significant contact(s)with members of other ethnic
groups:
 Where did you get most of
your information or misinformation about other ethnic groups? Give one example.

 

What in your assigned readings so far and
class discussion support or contrast with information you have learned about
your cultural identity? How is your background the same or different from other
groups?  Do you have issues that may make
it difficult for you to help clients of a particular ethnicity? How might you
challenge yourself to be more ethnically sensitive to combat xenophobia,
hostile nationalism, and ethnocentrism?

 

3.      
Race: (minimum one page maximum two page

 

Answer a few of  the following relevant questions regarding
yourself:
  What race would you say you are?  In what racial group would others place you?
What is the racial background of your family? When were you first aware of
yourself as a member of a particular racial group?  When were you first aware of people of other
races? Which races?  What was the racial
composition of the neighborhoods in which you have lived?  When did you first witness or experience
someone being treated differently because of his/her racial group?  What experience made you aware that your
racial group affects how you are treated in this society?  What advantages or disadvantages have you
experienced because of your race?  What
about your racial group makes you proud to be a member of that racial group?  What about the racial group that makes you not
want to be a member of that racial group?

 

a)      
Briefly describe an experience that caused you to feel guilt, shame,
anger, or rage because of membership in or identification with your racial
group
.

b)   Briefly
describe significant interracial contacts and feedback that you have received
from members of other races
.

       Do you
have issues (e.g., negative experiences, biases about skin color/physical
features, stereotypes about racial

       group or
mixed/biracial heritage) that make it difficult for you to help clients of a
particular race?

c)      
What in the assigned readings and class discussions reflect supporting or
conflicting information to your understanding of the impact of race?

 

4.       Sexual
Orientation:
(minimum one page
maximum two pages)

 

a)      
Answer a few of the following relevant questions regarding yourself:  When was the first time you realized a sexual
orientation other than heterosexual? What do you remember learning about people
who are gay/lesbian or bisexual? From what sources did you get information or
misinformation about persons who are gay/lesbian or bisexual? How did you learn
that you were expected to be heterosexual?  What experiences made you aware that your
sexual Orientation affects how you are treated in this society?

 

b)      
Describe significant contacts you have had with gay, lesbian, or bisexual
persons:

What oppressive acts toward gay, lesbian, or bisexual persons do you recall or
have you witnessed? How did you respond?

 

c)       
What in the assigned readings and class discussions reflect supporting or
conflicting information to your understanding of sexual orientation’s impact?  Do you have issues that may make it difficult
for you to help gay, lesbian, or bisexual clients?  How might you challenge yourself to be less
homophobic and to combat heterosexism?

 

5.      
Ability/Disability: (minimum
one page maximum two pages)

 

a)       Answer a few of the following
relevant questions regarding yourself:
 What
are your earliest memories of or experiences with people with disabilities?
What images, impressions, or feelings did you have as a child about people with
disabilities?  What messages did the
people around you (parents, teachers, and friends) pass on to you about people
with disabilities?  How did these
messages affect your thoughts about yourself?

 

b)       What impressions, thought,
feelings or beliefs do you have now about people with
disabilities?  How have they changed

or stayed the same over time?  What direct and significant experiences have
you had with persons with disabilities?

    What types
of disabilities?  Do you have issues that
may make it difficult for you to help clients with disabilities?

    How might
you challenge yourself to be sensitive to ability differences and to combat
able-ism?

 

6)      Class: (minimum one page maximum two pages)

 

a)      
Answer a few of the relevant following questions regarding yourself:  Considering your relative rank in terms of
income, wealth, status, or power, what class (underclass, welfare poor, lower-class
poor, working-class, middle class, owning/ruling class) would you say you are?
What class would others say or think you are in?  What would indicate to others that you are of
a particular class?  

How similar or different is the social
class/standing of family members of the same generation and different
generations?

 

b)      
What is the first memory you have of someone you thought was richer than
you were? Why did you think so?  What is
the first memory you have of someone you thought was poorer than you were? Why
did you think so?  What have you gained
from your class background?  What
limitations did you experience? Provide examples of memories/critical incidents
in your awareness of your class. What class or classes of people lived in your
neighborhood(s)?  What significant
experiences have you had with people persons of different social classes? What
classes?

 

c)       
What in the assigned readings so far and class discussions reflect
supporting or conflicting information to your understanding of the impact of
class?  Do you have issues that may make
it difficult for you to help clients of a particular social class?  How might you challenge yourself to be more
sensitive to class differences and combat the myth of our classless society and
classism?

 

7.      
Religion/Spirituality: (minimum
one page maximum two pages)

 

a)      
Answer a few of the following relevant questions regarding yourself:  What
was your religious affiliation during your childhood?  What phases did you experience growing up as a
child or young adult or both within your religious group?  What phases have you gone through in the
development of your religious or spiritual identity?  What is your religious affiliation now?

 

What has been most challenging about being a member
of or identified with your particular religious group?  What about your religious group, affiliation,
or identification pleases you, or is it a source of pride?  How much do your religious beliefs affect what
you think and do?  Do you have issues
that may make it difficult for you to help religiously or spiritually different
clients?  Think about the continuum of
religious beliefs from fundamentalism to liberalism. How might you challenge
yourself to be more sensitive to religious or spiritual differences and combat
anti-religious sentiment and oppression of other religious minorities?

b)      
Describe anything you have ever heard about other religious groups or
identifications
:
Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Gentiles, Christians, atheists, agnostics, etc.  What significant experiences have you had with
people who are religiously or spiritually different from you?  What acts have you experienced or witnessed
that are anti-a particular religious group or oppressive toward a particular
religious group?  What was your response?

 

8.       Conclusion: (minimum
one page maximum two pages)

 

Answer the following questions based on your responses
in sections 1-7
: What is your cultural worldview? What might be the
advantages and barriers that you may have in working with culturally diverse
populations? Be specific (i.e., including minorities and/or those in the
dominant culture). Reflecting on Sue’s (2001)
multidimensional model of cultural competence (as cited in Sue et al., 2016 pp.
69-79), what can you say about your understanding of the model’s components of
cultural competence (Dimension2) identified as 
awareness,” “ knowledge,” and “skills”
(i.e., specifically in pp. 71-75). 
You
must comment on each of the three components as you also reflect on your
responses in steps 1-7 in this assignment as it relates to you as a future
multicultural social work practitioner.