SA5-Family, Culture, & Identity Influences

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Purpose

This Action Guide will help you identify and explore the influence of family, culture, and personal identity on your major and career planning.

Description

Your experience of family, culture, and identity can all play influential roles in shaping academic and career choices. Keep in mind that “culture” can encompass a broad range of categories that define how individuals identify themselves in relation to their society – these categories can include ability, age, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, language, race, religion or spirituality, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status or class, and other dimensions.   As for the term “family”, when completing this Action Guide, you might include influential friends, role models, mentors, coaches, extended family members, etc.  Anyone whose education and/or career path influenced you in a significant way may be important.

Directions

This Action Guide Consists with two exercises, Career Genogram and Identity Chart. Complete both exercises before answering the reflection prompts.

Exercises

Exercise 1: Career Genogram

A genogram is a diagram of a family tree. So, a career genogram is a family tree that shows the career positions of family members. For our purposes, you might also include influential friends, mentors, coaches, extended family members, etc. For each person it is helpful to include the career path(s).

Here is a sample career genogram.

Complete the following steps:

1. Prepare a blank paper and construct your own career genogram. Make sure to include influential friends, role models, mentors, coaches, extended family members, etc. Anyone whose education and/or career path influenced you in a significant way may be important.

2. After completing your genogram, identify similar occupations (teaching, health care, business, etc.), education (technical college, 4-year degree, high school degree, etc.), and type of work (for profit, non-profit, government, etc.) to identify themes or commonalities.

3. What have important people in your life told you about careers/majors? How has(n't) that influenced/impacted your choices?

Exercise 2: Identity Chart

Purpose of this exercise is to identity different social identities you have an reflect on how they have influenced you as  you explore majora and careers.

Complete the following steps:

1. Fill in the chart below at your comfort level. Use the "Other:" rows for additional identities that are important to you.

Age

Ability (physical, emotional, developmental)

Ethnicity

Gender

Gender Expression

Language

National Origin

Race

Religion or Spiritual Affiliation

Sexual Orientation

Socio-Economic Status

Other:

Other:

Other:

2. Answer the following questions.

  • What identities do you think about most often?
  • Which identities do you think about least often?
  • Which identities have the strongest effect on how you perceive yourself?

Printable Versions
SA5: Family, Culture, & Identity Influences