The Ideal American...... Who is...?




 •  raise awareness of effect on newcomers of an accepted national identity that seems to exclude them.

 •  raise awareness of effect of having accepted national identity on dominant group.

 •  use critical thinking to consider what a common national identity might be.

 •  define national identity in ways that can be more inclusive.

 1)  Small Group Work:

In small groups students come up with a list of characteristics that describe the “Ideal.........”
 (use your own country here).

Or, use idea “What makes a .....?”
 (use own country here)

Use these categories:

 •  physical traits of .....

 •  cultural traits of.....

 •  beliefs of..... (political, religious, values, other?)

 2)  Discuss:

 •  groups describe their “ideal.” Did they find that there is such as thing as an “ideal”.......?

 •  might there be some harmful effects on those who do not fit the “ideal” national identity? (on the sense of identity among groups identified as “the other?”)

 •  on those who think they represent the “ideal” .....?

 •  what traits (values, beliefs, so forth) do you think your country should promote?

 •  are there ways to define our national identity that ensures the inclusion of everyone in our country? (what traits, beliefs, values, and so forth, are most important to us?)

Link Back to the Essay:  Crossing Cultural Borders

Lyn Reese is the author of all the information on this website
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Women in World History Curriculum