Short Assignment

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PSYCHOLOGY 547 SHORT ASSIGNMENT: UNDERSTANDING SUBJECTVITY

In cultural psychology, an important concept is that as researchers, we bring knowledge to the table that reflects our own cultural backgrounds. This may shape the topics we choose to study, influence the methods we use, or contribute to our observations and interpretation of the data.

This assignment asks you to take seriously the task of understanding your own subjective location in a cultural context as a necessary step in becoming a researcher.

Reflect on and analyze experiences in your own life, and how it contributes to your own theory of yourself. Think of all the cultural influences that may have impinged on you: your parents, your parents’ background, your racial and ethnic group, your socioeconomic class location, your religion, the areas/countries you lived in, your gender and sexuality, the schools you went to and the school ideology, your peers and their backgrounds, etc. Describe the most important aspects of these environments with the detail necessary to understand how they had an impact on you, giving as many concrete details as possible. As in ethnography, sift through your daily habits and practices to observe yourself in interaction with others, in addition to thinking about global perspectives you have on the world.

Do not merely write a chronological history of yourself. Instead, focus on the forces in your life that made you the way you are now so that you develop an

analytic

narrative about yourself

.

You may want to also consider the following questions: What would have been different about you without certain cultural influences? Who have you decided

not

to be and what have you decided

not

to do? Try to emphasize cultural influences, rather than merely individual influences.

Maximum length: Two pages, double-spaced

Due: 1/10 in class

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