Tattooing has been one of forefront methods in expressing our humanity, or in certain cases, our lack thereof. For so many, they have taken on many different representations, each with an equal level of significance. The importance found in the symbolism of tattoos and their cultural relevance has consistently been a trend found throughout history, religion, and art. Research the concept of tattoos as cultural identity markers and create your story on a sleeve to present to class. This assignment asks you to examine your own cultural identity – to describe how you define yourself as a cultural being – and to show how that affects your communication style.
The following questions are to help you construct that definition. You don’t need to answer every question, and there may be points you include in your paper that aren’t addressed by the questions, but use the questions as a jumping off point.
- What are my racial, ethnic, national origins?
- How do my gender and class define me?
- What sexual orientation do I identify with most?
- Are there particular stories I remember from childhood that have helped to define me?
- Are there particular rituals I remember from childhood that have helped to define me?
- How does my personal cultural profile affect my relationship to American culture?
- How does my personal cultural profile affect how I communicate both informally with friends and family, and in more formal settings as, for example, an internship, the classroom, or a club?
Some aspects of communication style you could comment on are:
- topics you frequently find yourself talking about
- use of nonverbal communication
- use of interruption
- use of silence
- affinity for or dislike of argumentation
- channels of communication you rely on