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The knowledge of cultural self-awareness is, at the minimum, understanding your own culturally determined identity, rules, and biases. As you develop cultural self-awareness not only can you articulate your own cultural identity, rules, and biases, but you also begin to move from strongly preferring only your own cultural view to becoming more comfortable with new cultural perspectives. Cultural self-awareness leads you to progress from looking for sameness to seeking complexity based on cultural differences.

The following exercise is adapted from Stella Ting-Toomey and Leeva Chung’s workshop at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication, July 2013, in Portland, OR.

This assignment first asks you to fill in at least 12 identities for yourself on this figure. Please feel free to add additional lines for more than 12 identities.

Next complete, as a Word document or other file, the following 6 short essay items:

WHO AM I??? Identity Dialogue

1. In reviewing the figure, which three identities are the most important to you?

2. Which one identity, in particular, is shaped by the values of your ethnic/ cultural membership? In what ways?

3. Looking at the figure again, which one identity are you most comfortable with? Why?

4. Which one identity are you most proud of? Why?

5. Which one identity are you least comfortable with? Why?

6. If someone wanted to find out more about who you are, how should they approach you? How should they begin? What are the best ways to get to know you?


After answering the questions, please pair up with a partner, feel free to share whatever you are comfortable in sharing and keep private whatever you are not comfortable in revealing.

Try to listen for both similarities and differences in your identity dialogue.

What is the one insight you’ve learned by talking to your partner?


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