Unit 1 Assignment 1 Jane Berick

Question: how does the power of the dominant cultural group affect and shape the minority group’s sense of identity? (Group A)

Agree: Maalouf, Adichie and Spivak all agree that the dominant group negatively shapes the identity experience for the minority. Maalouf writes about the dominant group in France constantly trying to have him identify as “just” French or just Lebanese, when that is not how he sees himself. Spivak discusses how the power of the dominant group makes minorities see themselves as a relation to the majority, and how minorities often feel pressured to erase any part of themselves that is not the dominant group, or change to fit in with the dominant group’s culture. Adichie admits that only reading books about “foreigners” (white people) during her youth helped her grow in terms of imagination, but she also discusses how reading just these books erased the entire possibility of Africans existing in literature, leaving herself and her people unrepresented.

Disagree: source / root of pressure imposed by the dominant group: ignorance, racism, a need for compartmentalization or generalization, or tokenization.

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