•Imagine a fish in its bowl. It could not describe more than its environment or tell you more than it has experienced in its bowl
•Often times, especially within the modern pace of our lives, humans live so much in the present that they forget about the history and influences which shaped their identity and may shape their future
•Being aware of your own influences helps reduce bias as an ethnographer and is personally empowering•Being aware of your own influences helps you discover more about others and their realities and cultures
Your assignment is to do a simple inventory of your cultural influences, in other words, what is YOUR Fishbowl?
Here are influences that may or may not be relevant to you. Remember this is not a complete list and you do not have to choose these specific factors, they only serve as a guide. You may have powerful influences that are not on this list.
•People (Anyone from you mother, father grandmother, to figures like Dr. King or Kim Kardashian (to show extremes).
•Ideas (Big or Small) examples: Goodness, Evil, Righteousness, Civility, Kindness etc.
•Places You’ve Lived
•Ethnicity and Language
•Faith & Spirituality
•Reason & Rationality
•Your community’s History
•Gender & Sexuality
You may have other things that have inspired you.
So think hard on what makes you who YOU are? (again you don’t have to go too deep, but pick at least 5 things to talk about).
So Reflect on those things that have formed you, how you were raised and:
•Put the list of five (your cultural Inventory) on one page
•Write a narrative (your story) of that inventory on a second page
• – Ask someone you know to do an inventory and narrative & then compare yours to theirs.