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Cultural Awareness

Teaching Tools, Strategies, and Resources, continued

Creating Your Own Cultural Genogram,

=1. From what countries and cultures do persons in your genogram come?

You may have descended from just one group or several. You may want to use different colors or symbols to identify each influence in your family tree; thus, if your grandfather was Italian and Irish, you may color his “square” with two colors or symbols, half green and half yellow or a blend of two colors.

2. As you build your genogram, consider the following questions and jot down a few notes:

a. Were any of the persons shown first generation Americans? That is, did they come here from another country? Put an “FG” in their circle or square. How many first generation persons are there in your genogram? How many countries did they come from? Do you know how old they were when they came and why they came?

b. Did the migrants come from rural or urban backgrounds? Put a small “r” or a “u” next to the “FG.”

c. How do the persons in your genogram self-identify, that is, do they see themselves as belonging to any specific ethnic, racial or national group?

d. Do race, skin color, and educational background have any significance in this extended family? Explain a bit about your answer.

e. Are there intercultural/ethnic marriages in this extended family? If so, how were these marriages accepted in the family?

f. What range of education is represented in this extended family group? From to ?

g. Who was/is the most influential person in this genogram? Why?

h. Have there been cultural conflicts among people in the genogram? If so, what kinds of things cause these conflicts? How are/were they resolved?

i. What important generational differences in terms of women’s and men’s roles exist among the relatives in your genogram? Do you see these as cultural differences?

j. What illnesses have caused difficulties in this extended family?

k. What do members of the family do when someone is ill? Are there caregiver persons in the family? What kinds of treatments are used, traditional and modern?

l. How are older members of this extended family treated differently from younger members, if at all?

m. What languages are spoken in this extended family group? How many and who are dominant in a language other than English? How many and who speak only English? What part has language played in the relationships among people in your family?

Thinking over all of the questions discussed above, what cultural values do you see as having shaped your family and its members? How have they shaped you? Is there any national or ethnic culture that has had especially strong influence on you and your family? How is this shown in your lives? Spend a few minutes writing out your response to this question.


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