Identity paper (4 pages)
“Identity is a curious notion… coming to know ourselves involves not so much discovery as creativity, Minnich (2010).
Tosha Tshang’s identity is a narrative about experiences of high performing sport – she also constructs her academic voice, stories of beauty and being a woman, and stories of racialization; in fact she is a multiplicity of stories through which she explores her identity:
1. Using narrative what is your identity?
2. In the final analysis – how does your identity inform your practice as a professional
Read the attached article closely and try to capture the narrative of your own identity using the post-structural perspective. In fact the minute you catch yourself using the word identity in your narrative/stories – you may be on the path of describing a “static” identity.
See below the guidethat helps you follow the argument about writing your identity using the post-structural perspective as Tosha Tsang.
The lack of certainty and the contradictions pertaining to her identity are important features to embrace in our world today. This guide tells you how and why.
Use this to guide you towards thinking and writing your own identity. Tosha Tsang writes her experiences using the post-structural perspective. What does post-structural mean?
First of all we begin with what structural perspective is – a structural position frames phenomenon through an unchanging, universal laws of human behavior and social phenomena while the post-structural position frames phenomenon as more nuanced, multileveled, and ultimately complicated framings of the world around us.
We are all human – men and women. Isn’t this a universal law? If that is the case – where does that leave the transgender people and or seeking sex change? Post-structural position is that which may accommodate more nuanced, multilevel and more complicated framings of the world. So those who left this world (as more universal and with unchanging laws of human behavior) indeed when marriage meant a union between a man and a woman may be shocked today!
Most people think through a rational autonomous subject perspective when asked to speak about their identity. What is a rational autonomous subject? It is obedience to the law one has prescribed to oneself – a capacity for choice that is motivationally independent, not determined by external influence.
When people say things such as … this happened to me so I decided to be… they are speaking from the rational autonomous subject perspective. They are using their own reason to determine what they want to be and perhaps how the world should view them. The post-structural position views the rational autonomous subject as untenable or as unsustainable or a weak position.
There are so many things that people cannot determine for themselves against the predetermined social categories. How do you determine how the world will view you as a woman? What should a Native Americans determine rationally in America? What about the black or the African Americans? A more tenable identity position is to state what you desired and also disclose how the society/community members re-positioned you. In writing your identity – there is always the others. It is the interaction that finally carries the day. PLEASE REMEMBER THIS POINT AS YOU CONSIDER YOUR IDENTITY
The subject position of a rational autonomous subject is problematic – because meanings are unstable and the foundation of knowledge is also questionable. Whose meaning and whose perspective are you using to tell your stories? What does it mean when a young girl says she can be whatever she chooses to be? Is her meaning universal? What about the blocks the society puts on her, what is her strategy? This idea I can be what I choose to be is fairly subjective and it means different things to different people. This what Tosha means when she speaks about sense making stories – the stories she tells herself and others to explain the meaning of my experiences…
· Sense of identity is destabilized in the face of multiple realities/meanings brought about by (social media, instant ability to traverse diverse different communities and geographies through the internet and the TV, instant news from around the world). How is Tosha Tsang’s sense of identity destabilized? Can you think of how social media has destabilized realities our there?
· Ensuing and on-going struggle to come to terms with these realities – can she be an ambassador for Canada if she does not live up to the standards of groom for women?
· Does one become HALF of what you were and HALF of what you become after exposure? A critical question
· According to Bhabha – there is the third space where differences are negotiated and where the past and present transform each other, personally how do you deal with the post-structural realities? What certainties in your life have changed? What realities have remained the same? After reading the narratives what is the author’s third space? How does she deal with the realities and counter –realities in her narrative?
· Third space – one discovers the gaps, contradictions, ambiguity, uncertainty, conflicts of feelings such as love and hate. If you examine the realities that we examined from Tosha’s narratives –name the gaps, contradictions, ambiguities, uncertainties and onflicts of feelings that you observed.
· The identity that appears is Fragmented and contested because the world around the subject is neither certain or stable.
Looking at Tosha Tsang’s identity through the post-structural lenses
Tosha Tsang’s reality
Let me tell you a story : a narrative exploration of identity in High Performance Sport
Tosha Tsang chose sports because her experiences in the high performance sport reveal for her – who she is or in other words her identity
Choose the experiences that reveal for you – your identity
Her father is Chinese and her mother is White. In the world of our reality she would be referred to as Chinese-Canadian
Tosha sees herself as Canadian, she does not speak Chinese even her father who is Chinese does not speak Chinese either – so how would she own up to the idea of being Chinese at all except for her facial features and color of her skin?
The reality that the media sees in Tosha is debunked – she cannot even spell own name in Chinese.
Narrative allow ambiguities to arise and contradictions to co-exist
Stories have power to create a particular kind of truth and have the efficacy in creasing sensitive to the suffering of others who may be unfamiliar to us
The reality that would be expected of Tosha Tsang as an educated person is a rational- autonomous reality: that is not so she at once is judged and she also judges others
The reality is that of what I have relayed may change with each retelling, emphasis may change, words that I choose may change, my memories and may also change (features of post-structural framing)
We make sense of experiences through stories – stories that explain and justify life experiences
Note the stories that Tosha tells about her life experiences which constructs her identity
-Sport as a form of discipline (sports attempt to produce the athlete as a singular, normalized identity)
-a face of difference
-relations with noisy, spitting Chinese