BuyQualityEssays.com – ORDER 100% ANSWERED QUESTION…Cultural Identity/Psychology and Education : Psychology

your personal experiences with race, gender, immigration, culture, religion, education, socio-economic status, family, sexuality, health care, community, and relationships; discuss how you experience your cultural identities in relationship to others and within society
the areas in which you have experienced privilege; discuss power lines
your experiences with intersectionality (critical race theory); discuss meta-and epistemic cognitions (3 points)
discuss your family of origin’s history, values, norms, attitudes and beliefs, and the significance of economic, social, and political factors on those values, norms, and beliefs.
highlight the similarities and differences between your family of origin’s perspective and your own perspective; (3 points)
discuss how your cultural identity will impact your work as a social worker including a discussion on your own cultural biases, limitations, and experiences in value differences and conflict as it pertains to social work practice.
All information must be included. Sufficient information provided to support all elements of the topic. Clear and appropriate organization, with effective transitions, introduction, and conclusion.
 
 
 
It should be about a female from Nigeria
 
 
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Cultural identity is most often defined as an integral part of an individual’s selfconception that is connected to their subscription to any social group that has its own
recognizable culture (Ennaji, 2005). However, Campbell (2000) offers a broader perspective of
the term that is more suitable to the ways in which social workers conceptualize identity.
Campbell’s theory maintains that an individual’s cultural identity is often fluid and multifaceted.
While members of particular social groups may share similar traits and experiences, one’s
cultural identity is complex and distinctly their own. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to
dissect my own cultural identity and examine the influence of it on my practice as a social
worker. This will be achieved by analyzing the interrelated components of my personal
experiences in regard to privilege and oppression; intersectionality; and my family’s history,
values, and unique perspectives.
My Personal Experience
To me, the influences of culture on my primary socialization are evident. Ever since I
was a child, expectations of who I would become were thrust upon me. Being assigned female at
birth meant that from a young age I was taught how to provide for my future husband. The idea
of condemning a small child with the prospect of servitude was constricting enough. However,
this raised a separate question that was never considered nor entertained within my particular
ethnic culture: What if I had wanted a wife instead?
Evidently, living in a heteronormative society posed many challenges for me in regard to
my upbringing. At the age of 5, my parents scolded me for expressing curiosity in the dynamics
of same-sex relationships. Similarly, at age 9, I was reprimanded once again when a cousin of
mine outed me as bisexual. While I denied the allegations at the time, my innate attraction
toward women never subsided. Although decades have passed since those negative experiences,
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I still choose to conceal my sexuality from my family. With no support from my family, I turned
to the queer community for solace. Unbeknownst to me, conflict and biphobia within this
community were prominent. For instance, my identity has often been questioned by other
members of the queer community who argue that I am “not gay enough”. Most often, however, I
am assigned the fallacious privilege of being able to “pass” as a straight person. This tactic is
used in an attempt to erase and invalidate my identity and the subsequent oppression I face as a
queer person.
Accordingly, I believe that my relationship with bisexuality is deeply interwoven with the
formulation of my gender identity. From a young age, my gender performances were scrutinized
and corrected by my family. Around the age of 7, I attempted to explore the concept of gender by
hiding my long dark hair under a baseball cap and deepening my voice. This attempt to role-play
was short lived as it was immediately met with anger from my father. After educating myself on
feminist theory at the age of 14, I decided to grow out my armpit and leg hair as a way to
challenge the patriarchal standards of beauty. This was met with contempt and confusion by
many people in my life, especially my immediate and extended family members. Upon reaching
my 20s and achieving greater autonomy over my body, I shaved my head, embraced my facial
and body hair, and made it a point to dress in traditionally masculine attire. During this time, I
adopted a gender-neutral name and male pronouns. Unfortunately, much like heteronormativity,
the throes of cis-normativity eventually took hold of me. Rather than being seen as the male I
identified as, I was instead perceived as a lesbian. This erased my sexual identity further and it
seemed that I would never truly be perceived as the person that I knew myself to be.
More recently, I have developed my gender identity further and am quite comfortable
identifying as genderqueer. In a similar vein, while I definitely align my sexual identity with
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aspects of bisexuality, I would ultimately say that my sexual orientation can also be labeled
“queer”. As someone who felt alienated and ostracized by society and my own family for quite
literally my entire life, I cannot think of a more fitting term. While I use any and all pronouns
now, I am becoming increasingly comfortable with recognizing gender as a spectrum in which I
am on neither far end of. I am fluid, I am strange, I am queer, and most importantly, I am myself.
My experiences, although negative, were necessary in order to establish my identity as I know it.
My Privilege
It can be argued that within the aforementioned oppression I endured, I experienced an
equal or even greater amount of privilege. Although I did not realize it growing up, the color of
my skin, heritage, citizenship status, and even my birth name would serve as advantages
throughout my lifetime. For a large majority of my life, I shied away from using both “white”
and “American” as descriptive words for myself. While I am aware that I consistently benefit
from white privilege, I have more recently learned that the underlying guilt and shame I feel
because of it serves little purpose. Therefore, I have learned to embrace my identity as a white
Cuban-American.
It is important to note that while Latinxs are often classified as a marginalized group, I
would argue that in Miami being of Latin origin can serve as a social privilege. In fact, Florida is
the state with the largest population of Cuban-Americans in the entirety of the United States
(Mastropascua, 2015). Being able to speak both English and Spanish fluently means that within
this city I have a greater opportunity regarding aspects such as employment, communication with
others, and day-to-day accessibility. With that being said, my geographical location undeniably
plays a substantial role on the level of discrimination I face as a Latinx person. For example, I
can recall visiting Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and being discriminated against for speaking
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Spanish. A woman looked at my family with a disgruntled countenance and whispered to the
group she was with, “They’re obviously not from here.” Within my cultural arena where over
seventy percent of the population is Hispanic, however, it is a much different experience (U.S.
Census Bureau, 2020).
Other than being Latinx in Miami, the privileges I experience as a person with white skin
are evident. I do not need to think twice about my relationship with the police, worry about
whether people who look like me are being represented in the media, or deal with
microaggressions due to my race in my daily life. Being able-bodied means that I do not have to
personally think about accessibility at all. To illustrate, a broken elevator may simply be nothing
more than an inconvenience for me. However, for a disabled person who cannot use the stairs, a
working elevator is a necessity. Having access to college education means that I also have access
to varying opportunities, such as higher paying jobs and professional growth. It should be noted
that while I do face oppression due to my various mental health issues, having healthcare
coverage means that I am able to obtain critical services such as psychotherapy and psychiatric
medication.
Although I may not play an active role in discrimination, I perpetuate it each time I
witness oppression and allow it to happen (Spencer, 2008). Therefore, while the societal
privileges I benefit from have been given to me due to factors that are out of my control, I can
use them in order to take an active role in dismantling unjust systems that harm marginalized
groups. Chugh (2018) maintains that those who benefit from ordinary privilege have the
opportunity to use it as a source of influence and power in order to fight against bias and
oppression.
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My Family of Origin
As previously stated, I am of Cuban-American descent. My father and all of my
grandparents are Cuban immigrants from various parts of the country. Although my mother was
conceived in Cuba, she was ultimately born in New York when her parents immigrated there in
1969. The hardships that my grandparents faced under Castro’s regime influenced my family’s
belief systems greatly. One story that was constantly repeated when I was growing up was the
time when my maternal grandfather was held in a forced labor concentration camp for over a
year. Additionally, substandard medical care, housing, and access to food led my family to
immigrate to America and adopt conservative views. In fact, their lack of consistent access to
food is evident in the ways that they (and other Cuban households) tend to cook twice as much
food than necessary. As they say: “It is better to have leftovers than to leave anyone hungry”.
Apart from their conservative political views, their religious views are also vastly
different from mine. Around sixty percent of the Cuban population is Catholic, so it is no wonder
that they would bring those views to America with them (U.S. Department of State, 2009). Due
to these views, however, many family members of mine are vehemently homophobic,
transphobic, and sexist. Therefore, it is quite difficult for me to relate to and share my
experiences as a queer person with them.
Other than personal beliefs, I find that a culture’s mannerisms and methods of interaction
are essential in truly understanding them. As is fairly common in Cuban culture, direct contact
and expressive mannerisms are vital during conversations. As a matter of fact, I am often
embarrassed by my maternal grandmother’s interactions with friends of mine who are not of
Cuban descent. Upon meeting them, she will usually grab their hand or shoulder, recite various
poems and Cuban sayings to them, and speak in a very direct and expressive manner. While she
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can be defined as a caricature of the typical Cuban grandmother, almost all of my family
members act in similar ways.
While this is true for them, I regularly respect personal space and will rarely touch
another person without explicit consent. I also realize that for many individuals, eye contact may
be uncomfortable and even impossible for them. While my family and I are different in these
ways, I can see the significance of overt expression during conversation, especially to signal
certain emotions when speaking to someone who may not be sensitive to social cues. I also
admire the genuine belief in Cuban culture that everyone deserves a seat at the table and a full
stomach.
My Experience with Intersectionality and Critical Race Theory
Critical race theory maintains that race is a socially constructed concept that is used to
oppress people of color. The theory holds that racism is inherent in the law. Consequently, the
United States legal system and other institutions perpetuate inequality in society by default
(Delgado & Stefancic, 2001). Critical race theorists also realize the intersectionality of
inequality, or the ways in which a person’s identities amalgamate to create different systems of
oppression and privilege. The concept of intersecting identities was first coined by Kimberle
Crenshaw when she explained how feminist theory has failed to address the nuances in the
subordination of Black women (Crenshaw, 1989).
As a personal example of my own intersectionality, the oppression that I face as a person
who struggles with mental illness is limited since I am also able to afford healthcare in order to
treat it. A person who does not have access to health services may experience greater stigma and
discrimination due to their underlying illness, especially if it is visible in some way. Moreover,
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my experiences with discrimination as a Latinx person are often overshadowed by the color of
my skin and my ability to pass as a white European. Lastly, in the areas where I experience the
most oppression (i.e., my sexuality and gender identity), my perceived heterosexuality and
adherence to the gender binary are assets to the way I am treated. All in all, adopting a clear
understanding of intersectionality allows me to acknowledge the multiple and complex
experiences of members of oppressed groups, as well as my own identity.
My Future as a Social Worker
Becoming aware of the social structures that influenced the development of my own
cultural identity is only the first step in my commitment to a life-long engagement of selfcritique and evaluation. By doing so, I will be able to reflect on and address my own cultural
biases. This will also enable me to engage diversity and difference in practice in order to adopt a
more individualistic approach. By utilizing valuable techniques emphasized in the social work
program, such as active listening and asking open-ended questions, I can seek to acknowledge
and address the cultural or social realities of my future client systems. Lastly, this newfound
knowledge will equip me with the tools needed in order to remain mindful of power imbalances,
thus ensuring a mutually beneficial and professional relationship between myself and the
communities I will ultimately interact with and serve.
Conclusion
To many, cultural identity is no deeper than the history of your family of origin and how
you identify with the values, norms, attitudes, and beliefs surrounding them. However, social
work professionals recognize cultural identity as a distinct amalgamation of the varying social
groups and experiences of an individual. My experiences with sexuality, gender, and mental
 
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