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The Future of Collective and Individual Identities

To what extent is globalization healthy for collective and individual identities?

Outcomes References Related Resources

Suggested Activities

Students explore the cultural implications of globalization by deciding whether or not the forces of globalization are healthy for collective and individual identities. In other words, to what extent should globalization shape our identities?

Discuss impact of globalization on identities
Ask students to consider whether globalization contributes to or undermines desirable aspects of collective and individual identities. Framing the question this way avoids the assumptions that globalization necessarily undermines diversity (globalization presents opportunities to enhance cultural diversity) and that maximal cultural diversity is the ideal. And certainly, there is no presumption of a single desirable identity.

Use a word web to review impact of globalization on identity
Encourage students to use a word web to record and synthesize what they have learned through previous activities and readings about identities and the ways in which globalization might enhance or weaken them.

To help students identify healthy versus unhealthy features of individual and collective identities, you might review the indicators of a healthy identity. Healthy features might include the following:

  • feelings of attachment and belonging
  • rich experiences (personally satisfying)
  • freedom (options/diversity)
  • comforting mindset (not disruptive or upsetting).

Defend a position on globalization and identity
Ask students to prepare for a class discussion by listing three to six reasons to support their position on this question: To what extent is globalization healthy for collective and individual identities?

Encourage students to exchange their reasons with a partner. Each partner is to read the reasons and suggest ways to improve the clarity of the statement. If necessary, partners may suggest additional reasons for support.

Take part in a U-shaped debate
On the day of the class discussion, organize students into a U-shape. One end of the U-shaped debate represents those who believe that globalization promotes healthy individual and collective identities; the other end represents those who believe that globalization undermines healthy identities. Other students may align themselves along this continuum.

See U-shaped Discussion (Support Material) for further instructions on the use of this strategy.

Prepare a position statement
Suggest that students individually prepare a brief statement of their position on the issue, including the main reasons why they hold this view and the main reasons why they do not embrace other positions.

You may want to adapt one of the charts in Justifying My Choice (Support Material) to structure and assess this activity.

Extension: Create visuals
Invite groups of students to create a visual representation of their view of the cultural future for teenagers living 10 years from now if globalizing forces continue to influence cultural identities. Suggest students consider this title: Who are "we" becoming? Where possible, organize students into groups depending on their position during the U-shape discussion. In this way, there may be representations about emergent identities from a spectrum of opinions; i.e., those who see globalization as healthy, unhealthy or mixed.

Last updated: May 30, 2008 | (Revision History)
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