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Instructions Creating a Cultural Autobiography to explore and interrogate researcher positioning (adapted from materials by Marybeth Peebles, Marietta College): To better understand researcher positioning, you will create a Cultural Autobiography that explores the sociocultural factors that inform your own positioning. There are many facets that contribute to our identity. All of us belong to many cultural groups and subgroups, and our identity is based on 1) the relation between us and the dominant group/subgroup, and 2) on the interaction among groups/subgroups. In your cultural autobiography, you must address many aspects of your identify. It is not enough merely to state, for example, that you are a White, Irish American, English-speaking male etc. or a second-generation Chinese American, multilingual female who was raised in a middle class family etc. You must take each cultural group/subgroup one at a time and explain how your membership in a particular subgroup has helped to create the kind of person you are and is likely to influence the ways in which you perceive the world and those around you. Begin with the cultural group/subgroup that currently has the most impact on your identity and work down to the least influential group/subgroup. This should take some careful thinking. If you are part of any dominant subgroups, you must address the concept of privilege, particularly White, (upper) middle class, and language privilege. The cultural autobiography should be an honest expression of who you perceive yourself to be along a cultural continuum. Think carefully about each category and provide enough details to create a vivid portrait of your unique cultural identity. The cultural groups/subgroups below should be used to help you work through your cultural positioning. Cultural Group/Subgroup * = immutable ** = the dominant subcultures A. Class (socioeconomic status) Underclass – below poverty level, homeless Working class – lower middle class, blue collar Middle class – white collar and low-level managerial / administrative ** YES Upper middle class – professionals, high-level managerial / administrative Upper class – professionals, top-level managerial / administrative, inherited wealth and social status B. Race * Caucasian (Whites) ** YES African American (Blacks) American Indian, Eskimo Asian / Pacific Islander Hispanic Other C. Ethnicity * Western European ** YES (Mainly German) Central / Eastern European Asian African Latino Other D. Gender / sexual orientation * Male ** YES Female Heterosexual ** YES Homosexual Bisexual Transgender E. Language Monolingual (English only) ** YES Bilingual (English as primary language) ESL (English as a second language) Multilingual (fluent in more than two languages) F. Religion NOT RELIGOUS Christianity – Protestantism ** Christianity – Catholicism Christianity – Other (e.g. Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, Christian Scientist) Eastern Orthodox Judaism Islam Buddhism Hindu Other G. Exceptionality * Non-disabled ** YES Physically disabled Mentally challenged Learning disabled Gifted / talented H. Age * Infancy Youth Adolescence Young adulthood ** Middle age YES Aged (elderly) Geography Regional (e.g. Midwest, New England, Southwest, etc.) Southwest Location (e.g. urban, suburban, rural) Suburban Environmental (e.g. mountains, desert, coastal) Coastal


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