Transforming Identity, Culture, and Conflict: A Reflective Analysis

Assignment Question

Directions: Respond to each prompt with only 1 full page (should not be more than a sentence or two shorter or longer than one page). Thus, you will have three one-page essays with a reference page at the end. This assignment needs to be typed using APA reference/citation format (no need for a cover page or running header) with double-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font. Please use only the first two lines of the essay for your name and the title of the essay; you do not need to list my name, course name, date, etc. as the first quarter of the essay. In other words, save space for your writing. Your ideas should reference your personal experiences and textbook/class concepts. Please be sure to cite textbook and other references with APA in-text citations and reference page after all three essays. Develop each response to incorporates AT LEAST three concepts from class sources, cited properly in APA format. Please use bold font to indicate when the concepts are mentioned. Prompt #1 (100 points): Describe two new things you have learned about your identity. You can take a more theoretical approach, such as using the Johari window, or a more practical one. To prepare your answer, review Ch. 2, McGrane (1994), the Self, Identity, and Culture essay, and your notes. Prompt #2 (100 points): Describe one way in which the lesson on culture has impacted your understanding of intercultural interactions, relationships, and/or communication. I understand this is a very broad question, so to help you narrow down a response, use Piller’s (2011) constructivist approach (see the latter pages of Ch. 2) to choose an example from your life to work with. As you think about this topic, consider the lessons gleaned from Bennett and Bennett’s (2004) concept of cultural sensitivity (the definition, limits, and possibilities that comes with this mode of thinking) and Yosso’s (2005) community cultural wealth model. There is enough breadth of ideas in these sources to help form a thoughtful response. To prepare your answer, review Bennett and Bennett (2004), Yosso (2005), and your notes. Prompt #3 (100 points): For this essay, first watch this brief intro to the Purdue University Peace Project (PPP) Play Video. The PPP is a great example of the kind of work done by professional and expert peace builders. You’ll notice that conflict transformation as we’re studying it is a core part of their approach to conflict and peace work. Choose one PPP project from the list on their website (click here for website). Briefly analyze this conflict along each of the four areas Lederarch (2015) discusses: personal, relational, structural, and cultural. Also analyze how the PPP project addresses, or doesn’t, each of the four areas. Don’t feel like you’re judging the project’s merits or success. Rather, use this prompt to help see how conflict operates, how Lederarch’s theory is constructed and applied, and how peace building organizations approach their work. To prepare your answer, review Ch. 5, Lederarch (2015), and your notes. Evaluation: Essays are evaluated on structure and form (including proper grammar), thorough exploration of the prompt, and proper use of APA citation and formatting guidelines. Clear, complete introduction with thesis and preview of the essay. Clear, coherent conclusion that recaps main ides and thesis. Spelling and grammar. Includes the appropriate amount of concepts (in bold font), cited in proper APA in-text citation format with a reference page. Body paragraphs are coherent, logically organized and use transitions, and contain an adequate depth of information. The essay is formatted properly, coherent, succinct, and on topic. Papers are graded based on its overall quality, but generally expect the following: A papers have fewer than three spelling and grammar errors, address all parts of the prompt, and thoroughly explores the topics with depth of information and nuance that shows mastery of the content and close attention to detail. B papers have three to five spelling and grammar errors, address all parts of the prompt in above average depth or most parts of the prompt in great depth, and thoroughly explores the topics with depth of information that shows a strong understanding and application of the content. C papers have to five to seven spelling and grammar errors, address all parts of the in average depth or some parts of the prompt in above average depth, and explores the topics with depth of information that shows an average understanding and application of the content. D papers have to seven or more spelling and grammar errors, address only some parts of the prompt in average or below average depth, and explores the topics with depth of information that shows a below average understanding and application of the content. F papers fail to address the prompt.

Assignment Answer

Prompt #1: Exploring My Identity

Identity is a multifaceted concept that evolves over time and is shaped by various factors. In my journey of self-discovery, I have recently learned two significant things about my identity that have been influenced by both theoretical concepts and personal experiences.

The first concept I have come to grasp is the idea of self-concept, as described in our textbook. I’ve realized that my self-concept is not static but rather dynamic, constantly evolving as I grow and learn more about myself. I used to have a fixed self-concept, thinking that I had certain traits and attributes that defined me. However, through introspection and self-reflection, I’ve come to understand that my self-concept is malleable and can be influenced by new experiences and personal growth. This revelation has made me more open to change and self-improvement.

The second concept that has significantly impacted my understanding of identity is the Johari window. This model has shed light on the importance of self-disclosure and feedback from others in shaping our self-identity. It made me realize that there are aspects of my identity that are known to me but not to others, and vice versa. I’ve started to actively seek feedback from trusted friends and family, which has provided me with valuable insights into my blind spots and hidden qualities. This has helped me in improving my interpersonal relationships and personal development.

In summary, my understanding of identity has evolved through the recognition of the dynamic nature of self-concept and the application of the Johari window model. These insights have prompted me to be more open to personal growth and to actively seek feedback from others, ultimately leading to a more nuanced and authentic sense of self.

Prompt #2: Culture’s Impact on Intercultural Interactions

The concept of culture is a vital lens through which to view and understand intercultural interactions, relationships, and communication. One way in which the lessons on culture have significantly impacted my understanding is through the constructivist approach by Piller and its practical application in my life.

The constructivist approach emphasizes the idea that culture is not something fixed or inherent but is actively constructed and reconstructed by individuals and groups. This perspective has made me more aware of the fluidity of culture and how it is influenced by personal experiences and social contexts. I’ve come to appreciate that cultures are not monolithic entities but a complex tapestry of beliefs, values, and practices.

One practical example of this constructivist approach in my life is my experience with language learning. I’ve always been fascinated by different languages and cultures, and as I’ve learned new languages, I’ve noticed how my cultural perspective has evolved. For instance, when I learned a new language, I not only acquired new vocabulary but also gained insights into the cultural nuances, humor, and ways of thinking of the speakers. This experience exemplifies how culture is constructed through language and how my cultural awareness expanded through language acquisition.

Moreover, Bennett and Bennett’s (Author, Year) concept of cultural sensitivity has been instrumental in shaping my approach to intercultural interactions. I’ve learned that cultural sensitivity goes beyond surface-level awareness of differences; it involves a deep understanding of the historical, social, and emotional aspects of a culture. This understanding has made me more empathetic and adaptable when communicating with people from different cultural backgrounds.

Yosso’s community cultural wealth model has also broadened my perspective. It highlights the strengths and assets that individuals from diverse backgrounds bring to the table, challenging stereotypes and biases. This model has influenced me to appreciate the richness of cultural diversity and acknowledge the value of different forms of cultural capital.

In conclusion, the lessons on culture, especially the constructivist approach, cultural sensitivity, and the community cultural wealth model, have transformed my understanding of intercultural interactions. They have encouraged me to view culture as a dynamic construct, be more sensitive to cultural differences, and recognize the unique assets diverse individuals bring to the table.

Prompt #3: Analyzing the Purdue University Peace Project

The Purdue University Peace Project (PPP) serves as a remarkable example of conflict transformation and peacebuilding efforts in practice. In this essay, I will analyze one specific PPP project from their website and examine how it addresses the four areas of conflict, as outlined by Lederach: personal, relational, structural, and cultural.

The chosen PPP project focuses on resolving conflicts within a community by facilitating dialogues and promoting reconciliation. In terms of personal conflict, the project engages individuals at a deeply personal level. It encourages self-reflection and awareness by helping community members recognize the impact of the conflict on their personal lives, emotions, and well-being. This aligns with Lederach’s approach to addressing personal conflict, emphasizing inner transformation.

In terms of relational conflict, the PPP project creates a space for dialogue and communication among the community members. It fosters trust-building and empathy, essential components for repairing damaged relationships. Through facilitated conversations, individuals are given the opportunity to voice their grievances and concerns, facilitating a process of reconciliation.

Structurally, the PPP project focuses on changing the dynamics within the community. It identifies and addresses systemic issues that contribute to the conflict, such as resource allocation or power imbalances. By working on structural changes, the project aims to create a more equitable environment that can sustain peace in the long term.

Culturally, the PPP project recognizes the significance of culture in shaping conflict and peace. It promotes cultural sensitivity by acknowledging and respecting the diverse cultural backgrounds within the community. This includes incorporating local traditions and customs into conflict resolution processes, allowing for a more culturally relevant and inclusive approach.

While analyzing the project, it’s important to note that its success or effectiveness is not under evaluation here. Instead, the analysis helps to understand how the PPP project addresses conflict in its various dimensions, as per Lederach’s theory. It highlights the comprehensive nature of peacebuilding efforts, which should encompass personal, relational, structural, and cultural aspects of conflict.

In conclusion, the PPP project serves as a practical example of how conflict transformation and peace building can be applied in real-world situations. By addressing personal, relational, structural, and cultural aspects of conflict, the project demonstrates a holistic approach to peacebuilding, aligning with Lederach’s conflict transformation theory.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the significance of the Johari window in understanding personal identity?

The Johari window is a model that helps individuals explore their self-concept and identity by categorizing aspects of themselves known to self and others, known only to self, known only to others, and unknown to everyone. It is valuable in enhancing self-awareness, interpersonal relationships, and personal growth.

2. How does the constructivist approach impact intercultural interactions and communication?

The constructivist approach emphasizes that culture is not static but actively constructed and reconstructed. It influences intercultural interactions by highlighting the fluid nature of culture, the role of personal experiences in shaping cultural perspectives, and the need for cultural sensitivity and adaptability in communication.

3. What is cultural sensitivity, and why is it important in intercultural communication?

Cultural sensitivity is the deep understanding of the historical, social, and emotional aspects of a culture. It is essential in intercultural communication as it fosters empathy, respect for cultural differences, and the ability to communicate effectively across diverse cultural backgrounds.

4. How does the Purdue University Peace Project address various dimensions of conflict, as per Lederach’s theory?

The Purdue University Peace Project addresses personal conflict by encouraging self-reflection and awareness. It tackles relational conflict by facilitating dialogue and trust-building. Structural conflict is addressed by identifying and rectifying systemic issues, and cultural conflict is addressed by promoting cultural sensitivity and inclusivity.

5. Can you provide an example of how the community cultural wealth model (Yosso, 2005) can be applied in real-life intercultural situations?

The community cultural wealth model recognizes the strengths and assets that individuals from diverse backgrounds bring. In real-life situations, this could involve valuing the unique contributions of individuals from different cultural backgrounds in educational, workplace, or community settings, thereby enriching the overall experience.