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Identity Map - Group Affiliation and Prejudice
Activity

Identity Map - Group Affiliation and Prejudice

About the activity

Objective

  • The students are able to reflect on their own identity and the identity of others, as well as seeing it as something complex.

This exercise is meant to create reflections over ones own identity, how it is complex and consists of multiple parts, and how different sides can play a greater or lesser role in different situations.

Time:
30 min
Group size:
15 - 30

Preparation

For this exercise the students need blank pieces of paper and writing utensils. In addition, you must prepare notes with the following sentences on them:

While travelling abroad you are having difficulty making yourself understood.


You are badly hurt in a car accident and end up in a wheelchair.


You discover that you are adopted.

Implementation

Introduction:

  • 1

    Create identity map

    Hand each student one piece of paper and ask them to write their name in the middle of the sheet. They should then answer the question “What makes up who you are?” by writing down a few keywords around their name.

  • 2

    Choose the most important key words

    Ask the students which key words they find the most important in forming who they are. Make them underline these.

  • 3

    Group affiliation

    Make the students identity which key words imply that they belong to a group. Circle these. (Circles can symbolize multiple different groups.)

Main section:

The main section consists of two activities that can be done directly after each other, or be divided between lessons.

Part one: Three notes

Distribute three cards with the following texts written on them:

While travelling abroad you are having difficulty making yourself understood.


You are badly hurt in a car accident and end up in a wheelchair.

You discover that you are adopted.

The students should look at the texts they have been given and answer the following questions:

  1. Which aspects of your “identity map” would have been affected by these events?
    (Circle the keywords in question. You may also cross out words or add new ones.)
  2. Which aspects of your identity can be affected by external events? Are there aspects that you consider unchangeable regardless of the circumstances?
  3. Turn to those next to you and discuss what this exercise says about who you are.

Part two: Identity and prejudice

  1. Imagine you meet a person that has prejudice towards one of the groups that you have circled. What kind of prejudice could you face because of this?
  2. What would you like a person with prejudice towards one of your group affiliations to know about you?
  3. Discuss in groups and then with the class: what are some of the prejudices the students can meet in their everyday life?
  4. Reflect upon how prejudice can limit our own and others freedom.
  5. Could other's perceptions of groups we are part of affect us in any way? If so, how?

Concluding reflections

Suggestions for concluding reflections on identity

  • Were there differences in how the students felt the three events would affect their identity? How can these differences be interpreted?
  • To what extent is our perception of ourselves dependent on external factors and affirmation by others?
  • Look again at what you have written about yourself on your identity map. Which of them do you think you would be able to eliminate? Which of them do you consider to be “inborn”?
  • Is your identity mostly constant, or is is changing?