The formation of identity
Use at least two of the texts to respond to the prompt.
In her article “Tokens and Totems”, Jennifer Oullette explores the nature of identity and self. She examines how our personal items and artifacts represent or tell about our identities, and how these items can sometimes mislead other people’s perceptions about who we are and what our values are.
Similarly, Emily White discusses how “tribes” or our membership in certain peer groups in school often define or represent our social standings and can provide information about who we are. For White, group membership is not just about feeling the pressure to conform. White explains that “conformity is not a cop-out, but a way of broadcasting the fact that you aren’t a weirdo, that you are speaking in the signs of the chose ones” (16).
Both articles explore the nature of our identities and how certain materials, technology, tools, and group memberships often shape or allow us to explore our identities. However, both articles explore some of the assumptions about identity that Latterell discusses in the introduction.
|Using ideas, examples and concepts from these articles, consider whether assumptions about identity provide us with the freedom to choose our identity, or whether we are left to factors that are ultimately out of our control or are fixed.|
Here are some questions and suggestions to help you start thinking:
· Make sure to understand what the three assumptions are that are discussed in the introduction
· Are there other assumptions not mentioned in the introduction that might be more relevant to the ideas presented in either White’s or Ouellette’s essays?
· Consider some different factors that White and Ouellette mention including
· Friendships, groups, social settings, personal interests, personal appearance, technology
· Think about how much influence these factors have in determining who we are or how we identify ourselves
· Consider whether certain factors are more powerful or meaningful in defining our identities.
Expectations for this assignment:
· Effective comprehension of the readings—clearly defining/understanding what an assumption about identity is and how it influences our thoughts and beliefs about identity.
· Clearly determining how these assumptions about identity influence or relate to different factors in the reading assignments
· Correct use of key terms and definitions from the readings
· Attempts to use analytical language (“this means that…” “The author is explaining that…”) and academic vocabulary
· A clear thesis statement that makes a claim or stance about your main idea
· At least 3 body paragraphs, which include
· Topic sentences
· Specific and relevant quotes from the readings related to your main idea or thesis
· Analysis of these quotes and ability to find connections between the different texts
· Body paragraphs that are focused on one idea or topic, but include references or ideas from two of the readings
· A concluding paragraph that summarizes your main ideas or explains what you want the reader to take away