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- 6th Grade
- Lexile: 1060
|What is the central idea of the text?
|Asian Americans should expect to experience difficulties during childhood with accepting their identities.
|How does the inclusion of Kim’s experiences as a child contribute to the development of ideas in the text?
|It emphasizes how Kim felt ashamed of his Asian identity and rejected it.
|Which detail from paragraph 15 best develops the idea that Kim rejected his Korean identity?
|When he rejected oh jing uh bokkeum
|Which statement best describes the relationship between Kim’s experience on Girls and his view of Asian identities in the American media?
|The positive feedback that Kim received for his presence on Girls made him more aware of the shocking lack of Asian American representation in media.
How do Kim’s experiences and his feelings about them help readers understand his identity? Use details from the text to support your answer.
Kim’s experiences and his feelings about them help readers understand his identity as a journey from rejection to acceptance and pride in his Korean heritage. Initially, he struggles with his identity, feeling out of place and wanting to assimilate into American culture.
This is evident when he changes his Korean name, Jun Hyuk, to a more American-sounding name, Jason, and tries to adopt American cultural elements, like discarding his K-pop CDs for an Incubus concert or rejecting Korean food and asking for pizza instead.
His feelings of alienation and a desire to fit in are further emphasized when he remembers feeling different and isolated in school, sitting alone during recess while longing to participate. He also expresses deep regret and disdain for his Korean identity, as seen when he rejects his favorite Korean dish, oh jing uh bokkeum, on his birthday.
However, as Kim grows older, especially during his time in New York, his perspective shifts. He begins to appreciate and embrace his unique background. His experiences in a more diverse and accepting environment lead him to realize the value of his heritage.
This is shown when he mentions his friends’ interest in his immigrant background and Korean culture, and their excitement about Korean food and his bilingual abilities.
Ultimately, Kim’s identity evolves from shame and rejection of his Korean roots to a sense of pride and acceptance. His cameo on “Girls” and the positive response he receives from the Asian American community further reinforce this transformation.
It highlights to him the importance of Asian representation in media and helps him understand the significance of his own cultural identity in the broader American context.
Through these experiences, readers can see the complexities of cultural identity, especially for immigrants and minorities, and understand how one’s sense of self can change over time through different life experiences and environments.
In the text, Kim felt like his Korean identity was not accepted at school in the Midwest. Have you ever felt like a part of your identity was not accepted or encouraged? How did that make you feel? What did you do?
When individuals feel that a part of their identity is not accepted or encouraged, it often leads to feelings of isolation, sadness, confusion, or even shame. This can be particularly challenging during formative years, such as childhood and adolescence, when the sense of self is still developing.
People might react to this in various ways, including trying to hide or change the unaccepted part of their identity, seeking out others who share similar experiences, or fighting to have their identity recognized and respected.
In contexts like Kim’s story, where cultural identity is not accepted, individuals often face a conflict between their cultural heritage and the desire to fit into their immediate social environment. This can lead to a complex and emotionally challenging journey towards self-acceptance and pride in one’s identity.
Understanding and empathizing with these experiences can be valuable for personal growth and developing a more inclusive perspective towards diverse identities.
In the text, Kim attempts to change his Asian identity. Was he successful? Can you change your identity? Why or why not?
In the text, Kim’s attempts to change his Asian identity were superficial and ultimately unsuccessful, as identity is deeply rooted in one’s cultural heritage, personal experiences, and self-perception. While Kim tried to adopt a more Americanized persona by changing his name, altering his fashion, and rejecting Korean cultural elements like food and language, these changes did not alter his fundamental identity as a Korean American.
The concept of changing one’s identity is complex. On one hand, identity is fluid and can evolve over time based on new experiences, environments, and personal growth. People can certainly make changes to certain aspects of their identity, such as their beliefs, interests, and even some cultural practices. However, there are core aspects of identity, especially those tied to innate characteristics like ethnicity, race, and place of birth, which cannot be changed.
Kim’s journey reflects the struggle between trying to change his external identity to fit in and ultimately coming to terms with and embracing his inherent cultural identity. This illustrates a key point: while you can modify certain aspects of your identity, the fundamental parts of who you are, such as your ethnic and cultural background, remain constant.
Understanding and accepting these aspects are crucial to developing a healthy, integrated sense of self.
While you can change certain aspects of your identity, there are intrinsic parts that remain constant. True change in identity is more about growth and acceptance rather than a complete transformation of who you fundamentally are.
In the text, Kim feels compelled to adopt certain practices of American culture. Why do people follow the crowd? Think about a time when you followed the crowd and why you did it.
People often follow the crowd due to a psychological phenomenon known as social conformity. This occurs when individuals adjust their behavior or thinking to align with the group norm, driven by the desire to fit in, be accepted, and avoid standing out or being ostracized. There are several reasons why people engage in this behavior:
- Social Acceptance: Humans are social creatures who inherently seek acceptance and belonging within their social groups. Conforming to the group’s norms, behaviors, or beliefs is a way to achieve this acceptance.
- Uncertainty Reduction: In unfamiliar or ambiguous situations, individuals often look to others for cues on how to behave. This is especially true in new environments, where the ‘correct’ behavior is not known.
- Avoiding Conflict: Going against the group can lead to conflict or criticism. To avoid this, people often conform to the majority view, even if it contradicts their personal beliefs.
- Influence of Authority or Popular Opinion: People are more likely to conform when the behavior or opinion is advocated by someone they view as an authority figure or if it is a widely held belief.
- Cultural Influence: Different cultures have varying levels of emphasis on conformity. Some cultures place a higher value on community and collective well-being, which can lead to a greater tendency to conform.
A common human example might be dressing in a certain way or listening to a particular type of music because it’s popular in one’s social group, even if it’s not a personal preference. The underlying reason for this could be to feel included or to avoid feeling left out.