Drawing on your personal experiences, you will discuss the way your identity is presented in social interaction. How are your identities — cultural, linguistic, gender, regional, or other — reflected in the way you interact with others? How do these interactional practices shift depending on the context? For instance, are your identity practices when interacting with your parents different from those you exhibit in interactions with your friends? Your professors? Your boss? Your doctor? The police? Why might this be the case? What sort of identity are you aiming to present in each of these scenarios, whether consciously or not? Remember, interaction includes but is not limited to linguistic practices. When we interact with others, we use eye gaze, gesture, pitch and prosody, as well as other non-verbal resources. We may also communicate certain messages with how we present ourselves visually (e.g., clothing, style, etc.) or even when and how we avoid interaction. Although you are encouraged to consider various contextual identities, your paper itself should have a clear focus. You may choose, for example, to focus on the role of code-switching in shaping and displaying your ethnic identity. In this example, your discussion should center on instances of code-switching, and the settings in which you engage in this practice. Rules and suggestions for writing the paper You are not required to cite any outside sources for this assignment, though you may do so if you are so inclined. The focus of your paper, however, should be your own observations and reflections on your interactions with others. Be sure to provide detailed examples when discussing your experiences. For example, if you state that you tend to speak with a particular accent when at home, provide examples of what you mean by this. What are the elements of this accent? If you speak with colloquial terms with friends, what are some of these terms, and what would you posit is their full contextual meaning? Further, explain why it is you do this, especially if your behavior in various contexts differs. Your paper should have (1) an introduction, in which you present the main point(s) of the paper and prepare the reader for what to expect, (2) a body, in which you present your observations and explain their significance for your identity in each scenario, and (3) a conclusion, in which you synthesize your main ideas and wrap up the paper. Remember, even though this paper draws from your personal experience, it is still an academic paper and as such should be written in a formal register. The paper should be about 1200-1500 words.
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