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"Diversity includes attention to identity characteristics such as age, disability, sex, race, ethnicity, religion/spiritual tradition, gender identity and expression, sexual identity, veteran status, job status or socioeconomic class, nation of origin, language spoken, documentation status, personal appearance and political beliefs."
Source:Threshold 2022: Cultivating a Culture of Inclusive Excellence
Diversity and My American Identity
Write about the formation of your identity as an “American” or within America as this identity is shaped and influenced by the social structures of race, class, and gender as they are deployed in the United States.
Incorporate into your essay the writings of others who interrogate the formation of their own identity formed or de-formed by social forces in the society.
- Five pages
- Minimum of five sources; may all be from required texts an can also include outside sources
- Use MLA Style, Chicago Style, or APA Style when citing sources. Check the citation tools guide for more information.
Note: Always check Canvas for more details about the assignment.
Think about specific moments in your life that shaped your identity.
- Focus on a moment of enlightenment: an event that helped you see some truth about yourself, your family, or the world for the first time
- Focus on a moment of confrontation with the unknown or with people or situations that tested your values or challenged your identity in some way
- Focus on a situation where you found yourself included in or excluded from a particular group or community
- Focus on a moment of conflict between your own experience and conventional wisdom: doing something that couldn’t be done, failing or struggling with something described as easy, finding value in something rejected by society, etc.
As you recall these moments, reflect on:
- What happened
- Who was involved
- When it happened
- Where it happened
- Why is it important
Background Sources: Sage Reference
The social sciences platform for SAGE and CQ Press books, reference materials and other content.
Sage provides online Encyclopedias, Handbooks and Dictionaries that cover topics in the Social Sciences. It is a good starting point for research as it includes several works that are relevant for this assignment, including: Encyclopedia of Identity, American Masculinities, Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender, Sage Encyclopedia of LGBTQ Studies
Examples of articles you'll find in Sage Reference:
- White Racial Identity
- White Privilege
- Heterosexual Privilege
- Male Privilege
- White/European Americans and Gender
- Asian American Identity
- Class Identity
Background Sources: Gale Virtual Reference
Includes the following sources: Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender, Encyclopedia of Race and Racism, Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered History in America, Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America, Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society
Examples of articles you'll find in Gale:
Same Sex Parenting
EBSCO Article Search
Academic Search Premier
A multidisciplinary database containing full text journal, magazine & newspaper articles, many from peer-reviewed titles. This scholarly collection covers information in nearly every area of academic study.
America: History & Life
Indexes articles, books, essays in books, and dissertations on the history and culture of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present.
Communication & Mass Media Complete
Provides access to research in areas related to communication and mass media.
Gender Studies Database
Covers the full spectrum of gender-engaged scholarship inside and outside academia. Several thousand links to freely available and indexed full-text articles and documents on the Internet are available. Source documents include professional journals, conference papers, books, book chapters, government reports, discussion and working papers, theses & dissertations and other sources.
Humanities International Complete
Access to Humanities International Complete will no longer be provided by the Collins Memorial Library after April 30, 2021.
Provides full text of hundreds of journals, books and other published sources covering all aspects of the humanities, with worldwide content pertaining to literary, scholarly and creative thought.
Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection
Provides coverage of full text journals, including many peer-reviewed titles. Covers topics such as emotional and behavioral characteristics, psychiatry & psychology, mental processes, anthropology, and observational and experimental methods.
The American Psychological Association's (APA) resource for abstracts of scholarly journal articles, book chapters, books and dissertations is the largest resource devoted to peer-reviewed literature in behavioral science and mental health.
More Article Databases
Abstracts and indexes the international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences.
Research Library (ProQuest)
Features the full text of a diversified mix of scholarly journals, trade publications, magazines and newspapers covering all academic subject areas.
A full text archive of journals from many disciplines
Use Primo to find resources on your topic at Collins Library and beyond. Request books held by Summit libraries for delivery to Collins Library within 5-7 business days. The library also has a number of ebook collections. Some, but not all, of the books in the ebook collections can be searched in Primo.
Some suggested search terms to find books about identity:
- Whites and racial identity
- African Americans and race identity
- Hispanic Americans and ethnic identity
- Asian Americans and ethnic identity
- Jews and Identity
- European Americans and identity
- Mexican Americans
- United States Emigration and Immigration History
- Racially mixed people
- Gender identity
- Sexual identity
- Women United States
- Gays and identity
- Lesbians and identity
- Identity (Psychology)
- Group identity
- Upper Class United States
- Middle Class
- Working Class
- Single Mothers
To find books in our collection, check the call number location chart.
Examples of Books about Identity
To Be Suddenly White by
Call Number: PS338.N4 B45 2006
Publication Date: 2006
Steven J. Belluscio uses the passing narrative to provide insight into how the representation of ethnic and racial subjectivity served, in part, to counter dominant narratives of difference.
Names We Call Home by
Call Number: E184.A1 N285 1996
Publication Date: 1995
Names We Call Home is a ground-breaking collection of essays which articulate the dynamics of racial identity in contemporary society.
Immigrant Families by
Call Number: Electronic Access
Publication Date: 2016-03-14
Immigrant Families aims to capture the richness, complexity, and diversity that characterize contemporary immigrant families in the United States. In doing so, it reaffirms that the vast majority of people do not migrate as isolated individuals, but are members of families.
Daughters of Suburbia: growing up white, middle class, and female by
Call Number: HQ798 .K47 2000
Publication Date: 2000
"A deeply troubling, memorable account of teen girls learning the ways of whiteness, Kenny's ethnography helps us to see how a white norm is produced and maintained in suburbia and lets us eavesdrop as the girls police themselves and are policed by the media."
Handbook of Families and Poverty by
Call Number: ebook
Publication Date: 2007-10-19
This volume should be the first stop for Provides a comprehensive view of the issues surrounding families and poverty so that readers may benefit from the findings and insights of their peers in other relevant fields, with the hope that better understanding will bring better solutions. Inc
Trans Voices by
Call Number: HQ77.9 .H46 2017 Print Books
Publication Date: 2017
This book details the diverse experiences and challenges faced by those who transition, exploring a range of topics such as hormone treatments; reassignment surgeries; sex and sexuality; physical, emotional and mental health; discrimination; and hate crime, as well as highlighting the lives of non-binary individuals to form a wider understanding of the varied ways in which people experience gender.
American Queer, Now and Then by
Call Number: Print Books HQ76.3.U5 A46 2006
Publication Date: 2006-03-22
Queer in America, Now and Then Contrasting queer life today and in years past, this landmark book brings together autobiographies, poetry, film studies, maps, documents, laws, and other texts to explore the meaning and practice of the word queer. Contextualizing these contemporary stories with ones from the past, and understanding them through the analytic tools of feminist social criticism and history, the authors show what it means to be queer in America.
Citizens but Not Americans by
Call Number: Print Books E184.S75 F56 2017
Publication Date: 2017-10-03
In Citizens but Not Americans,Nilda Flores-González examines how Latino millennials understand race, experience race, and develop notions of belonging. Based on nearly one hundred interviews, Flores-González argues that though these young Latina/os are U.S. citizens by birth, they do not feel they are part of the "American project," and are forever at the margins looking in. The book provides an inside look at how characteristics such as ancestry, skin color, social class, gender, language and culture converge and shape these youths' feelings of belonging as they navigate everyday racialization.
Asian American Youth by
Call Number: ebook
Publication Date: 2004-08-07
Asian American Youth covers topics such as Asian immigration, acculturation, assimilation, intermarriage, socialization, sexuality, and ethnic identification. The distinguished contributors show how Asian American youth have created an identity and space for themselves historically and in contemporary multicultural America.