Analytical essay that explores your identity

Analytical essay that explores your identity in terms of your own group memberships. When we are asked about our identity, often we describe it in terms of the groups that we belong to, such as a sports team, club or other kinds of social groups. We may also mention our school, occupation or a specific workplace. We may think of our identity in terms of our gender, ethnicity or nationality. Where we live–the neighborhood or type of residence–may also influence our sense of who we are. The languages we speak in those groups also shapes our sense of who we are and how others see us.

When we encounter a member of groups other than our own, sometimes it becomes necessary to reflect on and explain the values, assumptions and practices of the groups we belong to in order to resolve conflicts and to facilitate communication. Joining a new social group may also challenge those values, assumptions and practices that come from our pre-existing membership in other groups. The purpose of this project is to explore how identity is shaped, negotiated, and represented in relation to our membership in various groups.

Analytical Essay

As you explore your ideas, consider the following questions: What social groups do you belong to? How are these groups categorized (social groups, organizations, athletic teams, ethnic groups, or religious groups; by nationality, gender, neighborhoods, or communities)? What aspects of the group memberships are negotiable? Which ones are fixed or difficult to change? What aspects, characteristics, or expectations, if any, of these groups overlap with one another?

Do they compete with one another? How are these groups perceived by people who are not members of those groups? Are there stereotypes associated with a certain group or groups you belong to? If so, what are they, and to what extent do you see those stereotypes occurring in others or yourself? How do those stereotypes affect you and people around you? How do your group memberships affect the ways in which you communicate with others? How do your memberships influence how you relate to others or how others relate to you?

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