My Re-Examination of Identity

My Re-Examination of Identity

This week we were asked to re-examine our autobiography and consider certain aspects of our identity in relation to gender, sexuality and race. After taking time to really reflect on my own autobiography and sense of identity, I feel I have come to a much deeper understanding of identity and the factors that affect our perception of identity. It is hard to really understand why so many of us chose not to address these important factors when it came to identifying ourselves and how we become the people we are today. However, I feel from a personal standpoint that by not addressing these factors, they have not affected me the way they would for others when it comes to identity. Because I’m part of the dominant group in Canada, I have never felt the need to address my race, and I have never been negatively impacted because of my race. In addition, my gender and sexuality have also not had a significant impact in my perception of my identity because they too are part of the dominant group. However, to say that these factors did not impact my identity because they are part of the mainstream dominant group is also false and I am aware of this. As I learn more and more about interconnectedness of our society and our identity, I realize that everything about me has been shaped and impacted by the world around me, including my gender, race and sexuality. I agree with Kumashiro that we cannot be naive when it comes to the fact that oppression is constantly prevalent and in all aspects of life. It is in our implicit and explicit curriculum, so we need to be aware of our beliefs and oppressive actions. If we do not open our eyes to how greatly we are impacted by these social factors, then we too are blinded by oppression “common sense” social norms and we recreate that knowingly or unknowingly in our classrooms. Sometimes it is both scary and enlightening to think critically about the oppressive beliefs that are embedded in our society and within our selves, but by breaking them down, we can better understand how to de-construct them and teach anti-oppressive education for ourselves and our students.

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3 thoughts on “My Re-Examination of Identity

  1. I agree with you, I wrote something similar actually. I think it is important to realize that we left out these aspects, in order to remember to practice inclusion to all groups within our classroom, including the non-dominant groups. Do you agree?

    • Absolutely! We need to acknowledge our own personal beliefs and understandings and their influence on our identity and it illustrates a much larger picture. Inclusion and social justice are very important topics, and self-reflection is a really great way to understand their effects on a deeper personal level. Did your self-reflection stir any feelings of discomfort or new understandings?

      • I wouldn’t say my self-reflection raised discomfort, but more so, awareness of parts of my identity I left out because I felt as though they weren’t important. Though looking back now, realize these things are important, but I believe I didn’t include them to begin with because they were not large turning points for me because I didn’t experience discomfort from other people due to my gender, race, etc. I believe the initial discomfort is what makes us believe something has shaped us as an individual – if that makes sense..

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