Assignment: Race and Ethnicity

STEP 1: Watch Chimananda Adiche’s TED Talk “The Danger of a Single Story”


STEP 2: Write down examples of the single stories Adiche pointed out about Africa and Africans. Include direct quotes wherever possible (the transcript is available here). What single stories did she hold of other groups?

How do these stereotypes relate to socialization? In other words, where how do we develop single stories?

STEP 3: Interview someone with one or more statuses that are different from your own (it doesn’t have to be someone of a racial or ethnic background; ascribed or achieved statuses could include age, gender, sexual orientation, differently abled, religious minorities, etc.). Ask them to identity any stereotypes. It could be a classmate, neighbor, roommate, co-worker, or even a family member.

Maintaining anonymity (use a pseudonym) and with the person’s permission, write a narrative story (minimum 300 words) describing the stories and stereotypes from this person’s life, similar to the stories told by Chimananda Adiche.

Include a paragraph with your reflection on the interview and what you heard and anything you learned as a result of the TEDTalk and/or the interview, specifically related to how stereotypes and prejudices are learned through the socialization process using the interactionist perspective.


STEP 3: Autoethnography: Think about the single stories that are told about your culture, race/ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, etc. Tell these stories in narrative form.  Include a paragraph with a reflection and analysis of what you learned from the TEDTalk and your own examination of single stories.

Criteria High Quality Proficient Approaching Proficiency Not Proficient Points
Video summary Describes Adiche’s experience using multiple examples and a thorough examination of socialization. Describes Adiche’s experience including several general examples and a general link to socialization. Describe’s Adiche’s experience to includevague examples and weak link to socialization. Summary of Adiche’s talk does not include examples and/or does not include a link to socialization. ___/4
Narrative Narrative blog post includes a clear, detailed account of the person’s experience (using a pseudonym) with direct quotes from interviewee OR auto-ethnographical account of single stories. Narrative blog post generally summarizes a person’s experience with stereotypes and single stories without direct quotes and/or specific examples. Narrative blog post provides vague or unclear examples of single stories. Narrative blog post does not provide examples of single stories. ___/6
Reflection Reflective paragraph that interrogates how single stories/ stereotypes are learned using the interactionist perspective. Reflective paragraph that makes some connections between learning and stereotypes but without a clear theoretical explanation. Reflective paragraph does not demonstrate proficiency in examining the connection between learning and stereotypes. Reflective paragraph does not include any examples of learning nor any theoretical examination. ___/6
Writing College-level writing grammar (spelling, punctuation, syntax, etc.) with 0-1 errors. College-level writing with 2-3 grammatical errors. College-level writing with 3-4 grammatical errors. College-level writing with 5+ grammatical errors. ___/4
Total: ___/20