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Autoethnography

Adapted 2011 for use by MA Brown from handout of Dr. Reva Joshee, OISE/U Toronto Page 1 of 2
Assignment TWO – Autoethnography
This assignment is meant to be a reflective space for me to consider my identities as shaped by lived experiences with race, gender, sexuality, class, ethnicity, and more.
Goal
An overriding goal for autoethnographic explorations is to help me become a trusted ally. Discrimination and historical social issues pertaining to contemporary era can trigger unanticipated responses. Those who have explored these topics in relation to their own lived experiences are more likely to be less reactive when complex, sensitive, and controversial issues surface. Through self-exploration and reflection, they position themselves as adult allies and agents of change who are present, caring, and culturally responsive to the diverse social-psychological well being of others.
Expectations
? Examine my early and adult racial understanding as well as ethnic, gender and sexual orientation experiences, understandings , and behaviours
? Examine my identity in relation to my understandings of privilege and power in the context of my social, cultural, political, physical, mental, and economic identity
? Consider my responses by providing specific, written examples that reflect upon different times of my life by creating a portfolio for future reflection and introspection to document learning
Objectives
Learn how to address my own strengths and challenges to:
1. tie my own personal identity development to the formation of my professional identity
2. learn how my experiences of race, gender, sexual, cultural, economic, religious, and other identification has affected my identity formation as a professional
3. initiate professionally appropriate dialogue with students and colleagues involving race, gender, sexuality, religion, cultural understanding
4. create a recognizably safe and welcoming environment for students and colleagues to individually approach me about issues of racial discrimination, gender identification, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, and sexism
5. design anti-oppressive curricular and co-curricular professional experiences that attend to individual and collective differences
Adapted 2011 for use by MA Brown from handout of Dr. Reva Joshee, OISE/U Toronto Page 2 of 2
My Steps
A. Recall and describe my early experiences in which I was made aware of my e.g., race; gender identification; sexual orientation; financial or social privilege; religious identification; (dis)ability
B. In what ways did my K-12 schooling directly and indirectly influence my racial understanding? Gender identification; sexual orientation; my understanding of (dis)ability,wealth and poverty?
C. Based on my racial identification, how was I treated differently from individuals with a different race in my K-12 schooling? In my adult experiences?
D. Based on my gender identification, how was I treated differently from individuals with a different gender identification in my K-12 schooling? In my adult experiences?
E. Based on my sexual orientation, how was I treated differently from individuals with a different orientation in my K-12 schooling? In my adult experiences?
F. Based on my identification with concepts of poverty, wealth, (dis)ability, privilege, how was I treated differently from individuals with a different orientation in my K-12 schooling? In my adult experiences?
G. No one living and working in Canada can avoid having been affected by patriarchy. The term patriarchy today generally refers to systems of dominance by men (i.e. sexism). In what ways have my K-12 and adult experiences under patriarchy worked to my advantage? To my disadvantage?
H. Research has found that under a patriarchal system, women’s bodies are objectified/ commodified as objects where men assert control over women. What socializing experiences have I had that reinforced this objectification of women? That challenged the objectification of women?
I. In what ways was ‘white privilege’ evident in my K-12 schooling? In my adult experiences?
J. In what ways was heterosexuality normalized in my K-12 schooling? In my adult experiences?
K. Discuss my experiences with racism, sexism, (dis)ability, homophobia, and prejudice especially as manifested in my own K-12 schooling and adult experiences.
L. Explain how I came to learn about sex and sexuality. In what ways did my education (informal and formal) about sex and sexuality involve biological information and emotional perspectives?
M. Based on my own learning about sexuality, what issues arise for me when I discuss and reflect upon sexuality? In my conversations and reflections about this topic, what seems to be left silent or absent or is a source of discomfort?
N. Based on the societal normalization of heterosexuality, what issues arise for me when I discuss and reflect upon sexual orientation? In my conversations and reflections about this topic, what seems to be left silent or absent or is a source of discomfort?
O. Why do I think individuals tend to avoid discussions of race? What issues arise for me when I discuss and reflect upon race? In my conversations and reflections about this topic, what seems to be left silent or absent or is a source of discomfort?
P. Prepare these written responses and date them so that in future I have a set of responses to reflect upon and consider for ongoing self-exploration.

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