Soc 3: Discovering Your Own Racial/Ethnic Experience

Soc 3: Discovering Your Own Racial/Ethnic Experience
One of your assignments for this course is to complete a series a short writing assignment, researching the
implications of your own identity and your social experiences are shaped by race/ethnicity, class, gender, and
sexuality. There are three papers 3-4 pages long due over the course of the semester and one longer paper due at
the end of the semester. All due dates will be assigned when the paper assignments are handed out. This is the
first paper assignment.
Must be turned on this date, in class, at the very beginning of class. No late papers will be accepted and not
papers accepted over email.
Paper #1: Family, History, and Heritage
Answer the following questions in essay form (writing a few paragraphs on each question). These questions do
not have to be addressed in order in the essay. Your essay should have an introduction and conclusion. In your
introduction be sure to provide a description of yourself, including, race/ethnicity, gender, and class
background. In your conclusion be sure to summarize the main points/ideas in your essay. These main
points/ideas will be shared with the class on the day you hand in your assignment.
1. Research your family tree, and including yourself, go back three generations: you, your parents, and
your grandparents (on both sides if possible). You will want to discuss this with your family if possible.
2. The US is a nation of immigrants. Where does your family come from? What is your family’s
immigration history? Do you still have family you keep in contact with in other countries? If so, how do
you keep in touch with them and how often?
3. Discuss the gender/racial/ethnic/class background of your family. Often, we discuss our “parts” ( ½
German, ½ Japanese) and where those parts came from (mother, father, etc). What do these “parts”
mean in your family? Has your family always been consistently aware of their racial, ethnic heritage?
Why or why not? Has any one “part” been emphasized in your family identity more than others? Why?
4. Has your family passed anything on to you in terms of family/racial/ethnic traditions? (Names, events,
celebrations, stories, food, etc.) How long has your family had these traditions? Do you plan to pass
them along to your children (if you have them)? Why or why not?
Paper Format:
 Typed, 12 pt font, 1-inch margins, double spaced;
 Must be stapled
 Name on all pages
 3-4 pages long.
Grading: Evaluation of the paper will be based on the degree of thought and care that went into researching
and writing the paper. I am looking for evidence that you have carefully attended to and thought about the
assignment and critically evaluated the relevant issues. The paper should be carefully written and proofread for
grammatical and spelling mistakes.