Identity mapping is an activity that encourages individuals to explore their unique personal experiences and develop self-awareness and connection with others. It is a powerful tool for understanding the complexity of identity and how it is shaped by sociocultural interactions and context. The activity begins with students creating a visual map of their socialization in various aspects of identity, such as race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. They will create a chronology of their lives, noting at what age they learned certain lessons about their identity, who taught them, and how those lessons were taught.
These questions were developed from a lesson on identity taught in Rhonda Ashby's Aboriginal studies class in Lightning Ridge, and were inspired by the work of Dr. Karen Martin, a Noonuccal woman and Aboriginal researcher. The activity can be combined with the 8-way diagram and The Social Identity Wheel to help students determine what aspects of their identities they would like to explore further. It encourages students to address in a reflective way the aspects of their own identities and the identities that they have learned but do not share, to consider how their understanding of identities is imposed and how they reinforce or challenge the sociocultural construction of identities. The Socialization Cycle brochure provides a schematic representation of how sociocultural interactions and context construct and reinforce social identities such as race, gender, sexuality, and class.
Students can consult this brochure to help them understand the relationship between identity and socialization. The activity also includes questions for reflection and debate that will encourage students to recognize the broader social context of identities and how identities are constructed and maintained socially. Identity mapping is an invaluable tool for anyone seeking to develop self-awareness and connection with others. It helps individuals recognize the complexity of identity and how it is shaped by sociocultural interactions and context. By engaging in this activity, students can gain a better understanding of themselves and those around them.