Understanding Diversity Through Social Identities

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Describe and analyze your own social identities and how the world around you responds to them. Although it was meaningful to begin this examination in the relative privacy of the Reflection and Application Assignments, your understanding of these concepts will deepen when you enter into a conversation about these topics with your colleagues. In preparation for this Discussion, consider the following questions:

What was your concept of “diversity” before you enrolled in this course, and in what ways, if any, has that concept been affirmed/modified/changed by what you learned this week?

In what specific ways has thinking about your own diversity, as expressed in your social identities, influenced/increased your understanding that social identities are the source of individual diversity?

Some people maintain that a focus on human differences creates conflict; that it is better to focus only on similarities between people. What are your thoughts?

What is, in your opinion, the dominant reason why you as an early childhood professional should study the nature of social identities and their link with diversity?

Based on what you have learned this week, what is one new idea, insight, or question regarding diversity and/or social identities that you want to share with your colleagues?



Ramsey, P. G. (2004). Teaching and learning in a diverse world (pp. 3–6). New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Article: Deaux, K. (2001). Social identity. In J. Worell (Ed.), Encyclopedia of women and gender (Vols. 1–2, pp. 1–9). Maryland Heights, MO: Academic Press.

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