In examining psychological theories as applied to diverse groups, it is critical that students have the opportunity to think about their own cultural heritage and personal experience in the world as well as any biases they may propagate about different minority populations.

This first assignment will provide students a structured opportunity to engage in some “family-snooping” and personal introspection. Each student is to interview relevant family members, use on-line or print materials or other resources to learn about his or her family history.

At minimum, students should be able to: 

  1. Identify the country or countries from which they emanate with a brief summary of how ancestors came to live in various areas of the United States.
  2. Briefly discuss values, morals, religious or spiritual beliefs or other items that important to the student’s nuclear and extended family. 
  3. Succinctly explain how the family has handled interactions with racial/ethnic groups that are different from their racial/ethnic background and briefly explain how members of the family who belong to other minority groups (e.g., women, sexual minorities, people of multiracial descent, persons with disabilities, older adults) have been treated or what they have experienced. 
  4. Reflect upon and then briefly recount what has been learned about the family system and explore what biases the student may maintain toward those who are different from him or her.   

Please note: this is to be about your family and cultural upbringing. Since culture is the focus, and not biology, all students should be able to answer the questions.

Please ensure that you do NOT exceed 6 double-spaced pages (12 point font maximum) in completing this assignment, as it is important that you learn to concisely express your thoughts in your writing. Standard APA format it required, but you may choose to use first person in completing this first paper if you so desire.

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