Who are you? At first glance, this may seem like a rather simple question. You may identify yourself, as we often do, at the micro level by citing easily identifiable characteristics such as gender, race, or family relationships. While these characteristics describe you, they are only a small part of who you are as a cultural being. The mezzo and macro levels define your multiple identities from a community and global context. Understanding your identity at the mezzo level provides a deeper understanding of the social construction of culture. The mezzo level defines your identity through the interpersonal exchanges in the workplace, your school, and in other everyday activities. Your perceived identity is incorporated into group standards and expectations. Navigating between the micro and mezzo levels can often affirm your own personally constructed identity or it can highlight contradictions between who you believe you are and how others define you. As you work through the Discussion, reflect on your identity from both the micro and mezzo levels. Are there any contradictions between the two levels? Consider how your identity as a cultural being may impact your work as a social worker. For this Discussion, you will explain how the social construction of race, ethnicity, gender, and other multicultural characteristics contribute to your essence as a cultural being.
Post an analysis of what you posted for your video introduction and explain the root of what you described as your culture. Then explain how the social construction of race, ethnicity, gender, and other multicultural characteristics impact your identity as a cultural being. Explain how your own definition as a cultural being is or is not consistent with the norms, categories, and constructs prescribed to your culture by social institutions. Finally, explain how an understanding of the social construction of culture is applicable to the work you will do in social work practice.
Respond to at least two colleagues by critiquing your colleagues’ posts and providing an example of how social institutions define, challenge, or restrict cultural beings based on cultural bias, stereotypes, and prejudice. In addition, share an insight you learned from your colleagues’ posts that deepened your understanding of his or her video introduction.
Many people in society at first glance see a young, well-mannered black women and depending on if I have my daughter with me in my presence the perceived appearance may or may not change. Currently, my cultural identity consists of myself being a 27-year-old, black, female, educated, lower middle class (TBD), single mother, English speaking, Christian faith based individual.
With today’s society, the multicultural characteristics that are formed to create my identity impact my life as a cultural being in various ways both positively and negatively. The significant social categories such as race, ethnicity, gender, class, and language, to name a few, are the most recognizable ways others use to make assumptions/judgments about people and how they think they should behave, according to Adams et al., 2018, pp.10. As an African American woman, I’ve experienced forms of oppression, prejudice, stereotypes and racial discrimination just to name a few. The categories and cultural characteristics that combine to create my own unique identity has made a huge impact on my life as a cultural being and continues to do so. After thinking about my own identity, I believe that just like the process of achieving cultural competence, individual identities are evolving continuously. As mentioned in the text, “identity formation is a lifelong process that includes discovery of the new; recovery of the old, forgotten, or appropriated; and synthesis of the new and old…. At especially important junctures during the process, individuals mark an identity change in tangible ways” (Adams et al., 2018, pp.11).