the Two dimensions I would like chosen are Race and Gender, I am an African American woman, of the subobrinate group.


You are to write a critical, cultural identity autobiography in which you analyze two dimensions of your cultural identity. You may choose the dimensions you believe to be most important. This paper is designed to focus on the dynamic and complex life processes of socio-cultural identity development by exploring one’s multiple group memberships and identities and the relationship of these identities with those of others who are diversely different from us.  As you develop a multicultural approach to social work practice, it is important to acknowledge the ways in which each of us occupies a complex set of cultural and social group identities, and to recognize that our identity development is a dynamic and lifelong process.  We all have intertwined histories of fixed or ascribed group memberships and identities, as well as dynamically chosen identities that significantly influence our lives, strongly or subtly.

Based upon our group memberships and how we identify with (or are identified within) each group, we have either similar or different experiences than other people.  Our group identities influence how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us.  We can use our knowledge in one dimension of our identity to help us to understand more about other identities, and we can deepen our understanding of our identities by dialogue with others who occupy similar and different categories. How we make sense of and relate to our multiple identities and others’ identities is likely to evolve over time as we develop greater awareness and understanding and become more adept at cross-group communication.

Your Task

  • Please select two dimensions of your cultural identity (race, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, citizenship, geographic region) for critical reflection. Discuss how this identity affords or denies you privilege or power and discuss the implications of this for your practice of social work.
  • Identify and discuss critical incidents, key events or important (“aha”) moments that reflect your cultural self. Use the questions in the next section of this assignment to help stimulate your thinking. These could be something with drama or something fairly ordinary. These should serve as the foundation for an analysis (that is, each illustrates an analytical point). Please be sure to critically analyze how each event you discuss influenced your cultural identity development.
  • Examine your cultural identity domination and subordination. If you are a member of a dominant group, you need to address the dynamics of privilege (e.g. did you know you had it, how might you challenge it, etc.). If you are a member of a subordinate group, you are to address how you learned to respond to oppression (e.g. how was it explained to you, what functional/dysfunctional reactions did you witness, etc.).
  • Discuss how these dimensions of your cultural identity will shape your social work practice.  What have you learned from this autobiography that will inform your practice?

Please be assured that I understand that the material in this paper may be very sensitive.  Don’t feel that you need to share every significant experience.  The content of all papers will be kept confidential.

When writing this paper, do not give me your entire autobiography. You don’t have the space and the product will be too descriptive and superficial. This is an analysis of key points in your life that pertain to two dimensions of your cultural identity development, the resulting dynamics of domination and subordination, and how all of this influences your development as a social worker. Be judicious in your autobiographical account – there should be a reason for the inclusion of a moment or event.

Be sure to provide examples to back up what you say.  For example, don’t just write, “family is important in my culture.”  Family is important in every culture, but in different ways; explain the ways in which it is important to you. If you celebrate a holiday, don’t state, “It’s important that we celebrate XYZ holiday;” indicate why the celebration is important.

Process Stages to be followed:

  1. Read through the assignment and rubric carefully. Identify areas needing clarification and ask questions in class. After you are done with this, create a personal timeline for you to complete the following stages by the requisite deadlines.
  2. Once you are done with your paper, proofread.  And then proofread it again (or have someone else do it).  Don’t rely on spell check or grammar check.  Writing is a factor in my evaluation. Please utilize Temple’s Writing Center if you think you need it.
  3. My evaluation is based on how well you meet the assignment’s requirements, including thoughtful analysis and reflection; it is not based on whether you have the world’s most fascinating life story.
  4. Upload your paper to CANVAS in Course Content/Week 6.


This paper should be 5-7 pages, including cover and reference pages (if used), double-spaced. Please use 12-point fonts with regular 1-inch margins on all sides. An abstract is not needed.

It is a good idea to have an introductory paragraph that explains what you intend to accomplish in your paper. This focuses the paper for the reader.  It is also a good idea to have a concluding paragraph that summarizes the main points. There is no need to bring in research or literature, though you may utilize some of the readings assigned in this class. Remember this is not a research paper; it is a critical, self-reflection