My Cultural Autobiography

Paper entitled,My Cultural AutobiographyoPlease include the title, your name, class title, date and instructor’s name in the upper right-hand corner of the first page.
This paper should allow each of you to introspect about your own life and culture. Exploring your past, present and incorporating your futuredreams, goals and aspirations. This is an extension of your “Do I have a culture?” assignment from the beginning of the semester.

You will be defining who you are (your view of self and others perception of you) and why you are the way you are!This self-examination is important and at times painful, exhilarating and arduous.

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Your culture is your beliefs and behaviors. Everyone has multiple cultures due to their various social identities shaped by various environments. Some may play a more prominent role than others.



•MLA format;•4 page minimum;double spaced•-10 points for run on sentencing. Go to the Writing Center and write several drafts. Ask a friend or another professor to proof read!•Make it creative!

•Please use majority of the questions below as a guideline-either center the paper around a few central questions in great detail (a significant event or person that has made you who you are or answer each question directly•Knowing who you are will take some research-include at least one outside research tool•Have one example of a similarity or difference betweenan aspect of your culture and one from our textbook or ethnography•Utilize at least 5 textbook vocabulary(highlight them in some way)include page #. Make sure to explain the definition•Use at least5 anthropological concepts (highlight them in some way)include page #- refer to google document
Research tools:

?Be an interviewee: Have someone ask you the questions and began taking notes on what you say.?One way to become aware of your culture is to observe yourself. Keep adaily journalor schedule of what you do! Where you go, who you talk to, what you eat…….Everything you do! This will reveal your behaviors and beliefs!?Do aninformal interview of any elders in the family to learn more! Even use the questions to ask them!?Do a handwritten or digitalfamily tree-include birth/death dates?Buy a big blank calendar and write down yourFamilymember’s bdaysto discuss personality traits according to zodiac signs?Complete aDNA test:; dnatribes,23andme?do onlinesearches through public databases such as collecting family documents: funeral pamplets; pictures; recipes;birth and death certificates; military records?Watch Finding your Roots- PBS
Research tips:

?Work on your final throughout the semester.Please trust the process and give 200% in completing your personal cultural autobiography. It is worth the most points and has been my most popular assignment!
?Overall reflect on this question:
“How does the study of cultural anthropology – understanding culture and how people in different parts of the world have similarities and differences – help me gain a better understanding of myself and my identities (awareness of worldview)?’

How can better understanding myself, assist me with understanding, appreciating and accepting other cultures?

?Use these questions to aide you in creating your autobiography.
Your papers may include the following:


-Where/howwere you born? City,state hospital or home

Where are your parents or grandparents from? (ethnic identity)My nationality is…..

-When were you born? – what decade was this? What major political events took place? How old were your parents?

-Ask family members about yourbirth story? How long the labor? breastfed?-why or why not?


-Where did you grow up (in what culture) & how did that influence who you are today?Describe your school and home (physical and psychological) environment.

-Are there certaindiseases or behaviors that you or society has attributed to family “genes”? How does this change when considering epigenetics?

What is epigenetics? google it! It’s a hot topics in all disciplines

definition: above/beyond genes; your environment (which is forever changing and self created) affects you holistically including your genes.

-How many siblings are in your family? Are you the oldest or youngest? How does yourbirth order influence who you are today? How is that relevant to your culture? (Example: Are large families expected in your culture because of religious beliefs? Are half-siblings common?)

As a child or as an adult what do you remember about your favorite holidays or family traditions?

a.How important was food during these activities? What were the meals?: who cooked; where did they learn to cook from; is it “healthy”?b.What are new traditions that you would like to create for your family (spouse and children)? Many of you are no longer celebrating traditional American holidays (Christmas, Thanksgiving) What events will you create that reflect your beliefs? Will it be weekly, yearly?

-Agency! in your own words (beliefs, values, morals) and do you

align with those beliefs. How/why have they changed?

?List and discuss yourSocial identities (as deemed by society):
•race (skin tone): Race is only one aspect of who you are. When discussing your race, as a part of your culture make sure to review it historically, genetically and what does popular media say about it ? What and who are the race- white, black, latino, asain? For whites- please read White Privilege: Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh and reflect onwhat are the attitudes your family has about “whiteness” or being white. what is your families relationship with slavery- how have they benefited and continue to benefit. If land owned, where did it come from? and for Blacks who refer to themselves as African-American- go beyond this title and research your African ancestry- beyondslavery (if you were a slave, there were Africans present in America before slavery and with the Native Americans)?ethnicity (grandparents born…None of us are native to America unless you are a Native American)?nationality (where you were born. In USA?)?(socio-economic) class: How much $ do you make? Your parents? Family wealth??religion : What are the religious beliefs in your culture? What are your religious or spiritual beliefs now vs growing up? How has your indoctrinated religion affected who you are? What is your spirit(uality) look like-any rituals??ability (physical and mental)-Do you have any disabilities? How would that be handled in your culture? Who are the elders are in your family? Are they in need of assistance and does anyone in the family assist them? How are the elderly treated globally?age?sexual orientation?gender?sex

How do you bestdescribe your character? Do you believe your answer to this question is influenced by your culture?

What unique qualities do you possess that comes from your cultural up-bringing?

Whatjobs have you held and are these jobs aligned with your culture? Are you intereste din sustainability “green” jobs? Career goals? Business plans?

Educational background and experiences? Academic goals?

Whatsubcultures or groups, organizations, or sororities do you belong?

Do you have anytalents,gifts that run in your family?

Any symbols important to you or your family or culture?

What APPS do you have on your cellphone or computer?

Are you married, single, divorced, widowed, other? Is this aligned with your culture’s values? (example: Are you expected to marry? Are you expected to marry someone of the same culture? Is divorce frowned upon? How does divorce stats look comparing the US and the rest of the world?)

Do you have orwant children? How are children viewed in your culture? How are children treated globally? Views on abortion and birth control?


-How has “society” influenced your personality and decisions?

?Socialization agents by society: Religion; school; family; peers and the media
-Any examples of the culture (behavior, beliefs) ofindigenous cultures that you would like to adopt? – be specific

-As a child and now during your adult life who has had a major POSITIVE influence in your life? Why? What attributes do they possess?

Describe an experience that has defined a moral, personality type or belief you have today

What family behavior patterns do you display? What are general family behaviors? Generational curses/issues/health issues/abuse? How is it handled by family? How are you handling it in preparation for your own family?


What was your most memorable encounter with someone from another culture/ethnicity? Was it a positive or negative experience?

Share your first culturally diverse experience (school, neighborhood, travel, food, etc.)

Where have you traveled in your lifetime? How have they stretched your understanding and capacity of the world and other cultures? And don’t forget to include what you learnt , what research did you do for the paper .. And also reflect on how subconsciously your parents view affected you and your siblings

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