What are they, and why do you think they would be more effective?

Link what you might know about your family history as well as your personal experiences with larger historical and social structural forces. Research and discuss the history of your group in American society and how its status may have changed over time, comparing/contrasting it with your individual family history to the extent that you can. There will be some information available in your text, but you may want to look for additional background information from outside sources. Research your family history to the extent that you are able and compare/contrast this history with the information you located on your identity group. Guidelines for writing this section:
•Indicate how your identity group became a part of this society. What the history of this identity group is as indicated by your course materials and outside research?
•Indicate how that history compares to your particular familial history. Are there similarities and differences? What are they? How would you explain them? What historical events have shaped your group’s and your family’s circumstances?
•Indicate how your identity group may have changed over time. What factors led to those changes? Is your group identity different than it was for your parents, their parents or earlier ancestors?
•Indicate whether or not life is different for you today than it was for your ancestors. You may want to interview older family members to find out what things were like for them as a member of this group and how they felt their group identity influenced their lives. If older relatives are not available, consider other older members of your identity group that you know.
•Interpret the underlying processes that shaped the status and experiences of your identity group and that of your ancestors, especially any strategies your group may have used to carve its niche (assimilate) in American society. Use course concepts and theory relevant to your group as well as findings from your outside research for your interpretation. Try to see the links between the experiences of the larger group and your personal life or to see areas where these may or may not match up.
•Explain how you feel your personal experience compares with your group as a whole and with what social theorists have said about the overall experience of your group in American society. Indicate similarities and differences and try to explain those using concepts and theories from the course. To what extent did your group have a cohesive identity? Does your group have a cohesive identity today? Why or why not?
In writing this section, consider the ways in which majority and minority status is created and maintained and the consequences for both. Think about how you might use theories of ethnic stratification, theories of assimilation, and minority coping strategies (accommodation, separatism, radicalism) to explain and analyze your group’s experience and your own and your family’s experience. You will also want to critique and evaluate those theories against your own personal experiences and the findings from your outside research. Are there areas of agreement or disagreement? What do you feel are the strengths and the weaknesses of some of these models or theories and how would you justify your conclusions?
Part III Impact on Life Chances and the Future
In this section, you will write about how and to what extent you believe your group identity has affected your life chances (your opportunities to benefit from such things as a good education, job, home, and/or good health) and how you see the future in terms of opportunities for your group and yourself:
•Indicate how your group identity provides you with either advantages or disadvantages. Perhaps you believe it does both or neither. Compare your identity group to that of other groups in terms of life chances.
•Discuss the extent of acculturation and assimilation of your group and whether or not you perceive that as affecting your current status and life chances.
•Examine and evaluate your identity group’s strategy or strategies for advancing within the larger opportunity structure (those things you covered in Part II). Evaluate the relative success of these strategies and whether or not you feel they have played a role in your current life chances. Have you followed the same strategies or different ones? Are there strategies that you, as an individual of the group, believe would better serve your group? What are they, and why do you think they would be more effective?
•Discuss the future of your identity group in terms of the prospects for your group over the next two decades based on current trends and demographic data available. What larger historical forces do you see as shaping the future for your identity group and for yourself? What do you think the future holds for your identity group and for yourself, and what are the things that support your conclusions?

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