Tattooing has been one of the forefront methods in expressing our humanity, or in certain cases, our lack thereof. For so many, they have taken on many different representations, each with an equal level of significance. The importance found in the symbolism of tattoos and their cultural relevance has consistently been a trend found throughout history, religion, and art. Research the concept of tattoos as cultural identity markers and create your story on a sleeve to present to the class. This assignment asks you to examine your own cultural identity – to describe how you define yourself as a cultural being – and to show how that affects your communication style. You will draw a tattoo sleeve with the following cultural markers identified in the drawing: ethnicity, race, age, gender, status, sexual orientation, interests, physical/mental ability, geographic location, and attitudes, beliefs and values.
In a paper, you will will identify your cultural markers and use following questions to help you construct that definition. You don’t need to answer every question or included every marker described above, and there may be points you include in your paper that aren’t addressed by the questions, but use the questions as a jumping-off point.
- What are my racial, ethnic, national origins?
- How do my gender and class define me?
- What sexual orientation do I identify with most?
- Are there particular stories I remember from childhood that have helped to define me?
- Are there particular rituals I remember from childhood that have helped to define me?
Finally, in the paper conclude with:
- How does my personal cultural profile affect my relationship to American culture?
- How does my personal cultural profile affect how I communicate both informally with friends and family, and in more formal settings as, for example, an internship, the classroom, or a club?