By Bertha Martin,2014-07-04 08:26
10 views 0

Maegan Sheets Intro to Developmental Psych

    10/17/11 Writing Assignment #2: Identity, Culture, and Cohort

     Identity, culture, and cohort are three important factors that affect how people view themselves and the world, how others view them, and how they tell their story. Identity is a

    broad subject that encompasses everything about a person and is affected by culture and cohort.

    A person’s identity ranges from their personality, to their beliefs and customs, to the way they

    look, and more; much more. There are many different cultures that can affect an individual’s identity and many individuals even come from multicultural backgrounds, making their identities even more diverse. A person’s cohort is made clear by many distinct markers in the popular

    media, history, and pop culture of their time. Reading the “I am from” poems from our

    section made me see the ways that other people in my cohort grew up. I found that some were

    astonishingly different yet others were very much the same.

    Because identity is based off of culture and cohort, every single individual’s identity is very distinct and unique, yet still vaguely similar to others in the same cohort. Each and every

    human being has a different story to tell about their experiences, but each story is also marked by characteristics of its cohort. When reading the “I am from” poems from our class, I noticed

    that certain television shows, games, musicians and events showed up in a majority of the poems.

    These are all markers of our cohort, people who were born in the early 1990’s. I found myself

    thinking; “Hey! My friends and I used to be obsessed with that too!” when things such as N*SYNC, The Backstreet Boys, The Spice Girls, pokemon, Nintendo, and Rugrats were

    Sheets 1

mentioned in the poems written by my classmates. A really popular cohort effect that was

    brought up in many poems was Kraft macaroni and cheese. Amanda Przychodny’s poem brought

    back some happy childhood memories when I read, “I am from playing with Barbies and Polly

    Pockets.” I so loved my Barbies and Polly Pockets! My dad even built me a wooden doll house that was painted to look just like the house we lived in. Amanda also talks about living in the

    middle of nowhere, and people wearing steel-toe boots and blasting country music from their trucks. Although these things are not cohort related, I can definitely relate to them because it sounds a lot like where I grew up.

    A major historical cohort effect is the 9/11 terrorist attack on the world trade center in NYC. Taylor Porter said “I am from a country coming together, after planes toppled the buildings on 9/11. Watching the news in third grade and seeing the devastation, led to a renewed sense of being in everyone. Emotions still run high for me, whenever that anniversary comes

    around. Or movies and documentaries display horrors on the screen.” I distinctly remember the

    day that it happened I was in third grade, as most of us freshman were, and my teacher went out in the hall for a bit and came back in with tears in her eyes telling us, “class, a terrible thing has happened

    I had a mostly happy childhood with loving parents and many of the other authors had childhoods similar to mine, but I also read some deeply emotional poems that I could not relate to and I applaud all of these people for putting themselves out there and sharing their experiences.

    In one of the Anonymous poems it talks about not eating or sleeping, being depressed and alone, and cutting during adolescent years. I found I couldn’t relate very well to these experiences, but

    Sheets 2

    it was very eye opening. Jarvis Lu also wrote a deeply meaningful poem about the fickle world in which he lives and how it has given him the short end of the stick, yet he still hopes for it to get better one day. Another aspect of growing up that I read, and could not relate to, was growing up or being born in another country. The very last Anonymous poem in the anthology

    thsaid “I am from Hong Kong, a tiny city living on the 19 floor in a 37-story building.” I think it

    would be very cool to live in another country, but I would not change my childhood for anything.

    Writing my “I am from” poem has opened my eyes to the way other people view me

    and the things that are most important in my life. I have seen the very diverse ways that other

    people have grown up and it helps me to understand who they are today. In comparing my poem

    to others, I got to see all the ways that my cohort is similar to one another. The places we grew

    up, the foods we ate, the way we were parented as children; these all explain why we are who we are.

    Sheets 3

Report this document

For any questions or suggestions please email