Keeper ‘N’ me identity
Keeper ‘N Me Identity Assignment (20%) For this assignment you will have a chance to demonstrate your understanding of how identity can be influenced by outside factors (culture, institutions, experiences, events, people, expectations, etc.). Identity Our sense of identity develops as we grow, with certain developmental stages having greater impact than others (infant, adolescence, midlife). Since identity is often tied to how we relate to people, places, and messages, there will be experiences in our lives that cause us to question our identity. As new experiences come along we need to figure out how we fit within these experiences. If we are raised in healthy, loving homes where we get the message that we are lovable, competent and resilient, there is a good chance we will take this belief with us into many of those relationships and experiences. As a result, the positive belief we hold about ourselves will be reinforced—self fulfilling prophecy. Alternatively, if we are raised in dysfunctional homes where the message is either negative or confusing, we may define ourselves by the negative messages we received (e.g. I am a failure, unlovable and a victim). Certain things have the potential to shake our sense of identity. This can happen to anyone regardless of whether they have a positive or negative self worth. This is called an identity crisis. An identity crisis happens when there is a significant challenge to the belief we hold about ourselves. Let‘s take Jim as an example. Jim has always believed that he was strong and could handle difficult situations. One day Jim is a victim of a violent crime and his response to the event is to freeze. If Jim cannot find a way to make this response fit within his belief about himself, he may question his identity. If he is really shaken, he may begin to question other beliefs he has about himself as well. The ?who am I? question will infect all areas of Jim‘s life. He may feel apprehensive and timid in areas of his life where he once felt confident. However, if Jim works through this adversity in a conscious and meaningful way, there is an opportunity for him to incorporate the negative event into his sense of self in a positive way that actually supports personal growth and confidence. Jim could interpret the event in a way that would actually increase his sense of personal power, competence and self-worth. For instance, he could tell himself the following story: In nature freezing is one of the options to respond to threat and in this circumstance it might have kept me alive. In fact, if I responded in my usual assertive way, I might not be here today. Perhaps my natural instincts knew more about the best way to respond in that moment than my conscious self-did. I guess I can handle difficult situations. Not only do I have some good skills and knowledge, but my natural instincts are on the ball. Another example of an identity crisis is related to the developmental stages. The midlife crisis refers to the time in our lives when we become aware of the limited time we have left. We may begin to take stock of whom we have become and where we are at this point in our lives. If a conscious review highlights incongruence (the way in which we are living does not reflect who we think we are), then this can cause internal crisis. For some it involves a rush to do things they have always wanted to do or an effort to feel young again. This can look quite superficial; for example, the stereotypical 50 year old man who buys a sports car and divorces his wife to marry a much younger woman. However, you will also hear stories of people who left high paying jobs to honour an unfulfilled passion or selfless calling. Suffice to say, a crisis in identity can have positive results. An external event or series of smaller events can lead to soul searching if the effort is made to process the meaning and purpose behind the event instead of just reacting to it. It is in this way that we get to choose our identity. As you can see by the examples, identity can be influenced by the outside world, but as adults we have considerable control over how we choose to interpret external events. It is through those interpretations that we identify ourselves. Part One: (50 points) The novel, Keeper ‘N Me explores Aboriginal identity through the story of a homecoming. One theme that runs through the story is the impact of culture on identity. Given the history of First Nations people in Canada, developing a sense of identity in relationship to Aboriginal culture can be a challenging journey, especially when some of that history includes direct attacks on the culture. In this respect, there are many influences on how cultural identity might be internalized by an individual. In order to understand this process, we need to determine what messages are being sent and how they are being received. Read the novel, Keeper ‘N Me and briefly answer the following questions. (Approximately one paragraph each.) As presented in the novel, what does it mean to be Indian: 1. According to society? 2. According to Garnet before he reconnected to his culture? 3. According to Garnet after he reconnected to his culture? 4. According to Keeper? Grading Criteria: Potential Mark Criteria 10 Reflects clear communication. 20 Demonstrates thoughtful, insightful ideas. 10 Expresses a depth of understanding. 10 Supported by a quote or quotes from the novel. Remember to use proper APA format for in text citations. Total: 50 Part Two: (50 points) As noted there are many things that can influence personal identity. Garnet‘s Mind Map (on the next page) highlights some of the areas that can influence identity. Directions: 1. Using Garnet‘s Mind Map, choose two areas to write about that influenced his sense of identity – Adoption, Cultural, Traditional Teachings, School, Community. You can create your own area to write about in the blank inner circle. 2. For each of the two areas you have chosen, answer the questions below (approximately one paragraph each): a. Explain the link between individual and external influences. b. What are the issues related to the area and explain how they influenced how Garnet saw himself? E.g. In the area of =School,‘ two issues that might have influenced how Garnet saw himself are: portrayal of Aboriginal people in history and racist people. c. Describe how loss of identity as a child has influenced his behaviours prior to returning to home community. d. How has returning to his home community changed his view of his identity as an Aboriginal person? Grading Criteria: Potential Mark Criteria 5 Understands the link between individual and external influences. 10 Demonstrates knowledge of the issues related to the area chosen. 5 Understands how childhood loss of identify influences behaviours. 5 Understands how returning home changed his view. Total: 25 3. Each area will be worth 25 points for a total of 50 points. 4. Fax or scan to email the completed mind map to your instructor. 5. Type and upload Part One and Two section answers to the Moodle course. 6. Remember to use proper APA format for in text citations.
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