Constructing Identity: The Next Genderation


Purpose: Unit 1 focuses on how constructions of identity are constantly appropriated by individuals and society. This Unit will give you practice in invention strategies such as prewriting and looping as well as generating a thesis.

Readings (MLA Style Citation):

Poisson, Jayme. “Parents Keep Child’s Gender Secret.” Emerging: Contemporary Readings

for Writers. 2nd ed. Ed. Barclay Barrios. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin’s. 2013. 364-370. Print.

Pozner, Jennifer. “Ghetto Bitches, China Dolls, and Cha Cha Divas.” Emerging:

Contemporary Readings for Writers. 2nd ed. Ed. Barclay Barrios. Boston: Bedford/ St.

Martin’s. 2013. 396-407. Print.

Topic: In this unit, we have looked at readings that examine the way gender, sexuality, and ethnicity are constantly being judged and subjected to examination by social and cultural designations. In some cases, identities can be transmitted in the most primary of interactions between a parent and a child and in other cases in loco parentis by the imperatives of social, ethnic, and racial norms. However, the overarching question in this unit seems to be whether or not identity can truly be shaped by personal endeavors—in which individuals make free choices—from options that appear to be set up or scripted by society and culture. Although identity can be a highly complex concept, we must all decide how our identity should appear and be attended to.

Writing Task: Gather your notes, clusters, and any other invention strategies and respond to the following prompt:

Is identity constructed by individuals or by society? Or both?

Tips: Narrow your focus by writing about one aspect of identity: gender, sex, sexuality, and ethnicity. When taking “society” into consideration, please specify which institutions your argument focuses on, such as family, school, religion, military, government, and media. As you develop your introduction and thesis, avoid the usual binaries: advantages/disadvantages, pros/cons, and positives/negatives. You may certainly use these binaries as prewriting techniques to help you find a position for which you can argue. Reflect on everything we have read, discussed and written about for this unit. You may use the sequence of assignments to help you generate ideas and narrow your focus.

Directions: Develop a clear thesis that is supported by examples from both readings for this unit. Quote the readings appropriately to support your argument, not the author’s. While personal experience may help support your thesis, should be guided by analysis rather than narrative or a summary of the readings. Must be 4-5 typed pages of 12-point Times New Roman font, be double-spaced, and have one-inch margins all around. Completion of all drafts is mandatory to complete this unit.