Exploring Issues of Identity and Belonging Essay

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In this Context you will consider many issues related to questions of a sense of self and how we gain the feeling of belonging to a family, group, place or community. You will ask questions like: Who am I? Where do I belong? What things have shaped me into the person I am today? How have they done so? The title of the Context gives equal emphasis to identity and belonging, suggesting that each is related to the other. The groups we choose to belong to and the ways we connect with others help to form our own identity. Together, these issues go to the heart of who we are and how we present ourselves to the world.

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Its purpose is to entertain, to make the reader think about ideas in a new way, to move the reader emotionally. Incorporating Context Ideas . In your written pieces, it is very important to show that you understand the Context ideas in general as well as specific ideas about Identity and Belonging that are presented in your selected texts. Think about some of these ideas when creating your own pieces of writing: . Discuss how a character’s decisions reveal a key idea, for example that staying with the group is more important than asserting their individuality in order to develop a clearer sense of identity. This might be balanced by reference to another character in the same (or different) text who does leave the group in search of greater independence to develop their individual identity. Discuss how the narrative’s events and turning points reveal a key idea, for example that a feeling of not belonging to any groups in society underpins a character’s actions, actions that lead to personal crisis. This might be used to show that a sense of belonging is critical to a robust sense of self and identity. Draw on character’s reflections to illustrate a key idea, for example, that a yearning for a greater sense of self is being stifled by the need to conform to society’s pressures.

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An imaginative dialogue between the ‘blue-eyed Tans’ and the ‘brown-haired Wongs’ when they first meet the Chew children, with references to Joo-Inn Chew’s ‘Chinese Dancing, Bendigo Style’ in Growing Up Asian in Australia. An imaginary story about a good girl who always tries to do the right thing, but the harder she tries, the more her actions are seen as rebellious and disrespectful, until she has no choice b ut to accept that she is bad. Draw on Sandra’s experience in Skin. An expository essay on the ways in which our perception of ourselves change as we grow older, and why some people find it difficult to adjust their self-image as they age, drawing on ideas from Summer of the Seventeenth Doll. If the prompt refers to ideas about isolation and alienation, you could write: . A formal document that makes an official apology to Sandra Laing for the years of emotional trauma inflicted upon her in Skin. An imaginative short story that reveals ways in which disconnection from a group can destabilise a person’s sense of identity, leaving them feeling isolated and insecure, with reference to ideas from Summer of the Seventeenth Doll. An imaginative short story that reflects on the situation of a young person who experiences discrimination at school, with references to ideas and incidents in Growing Up Asian in Australia.

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