Visible identities: always a target

This lesson plan is focused on the ways people interpret our identities based on what they can see about us. The way they judge our appearance affects their reactions, their treatment and the stories they instantly tell themselves about us, very often unconsciously. These visible identities put people at high risk because they can't be hidden or mitigated. We'll discuss the coping mechanisms that people use to manage the stereotypes about their groups (see Irving Goffman's Stigma for discredited identities). Some examples of these oppressions are Sexism, Ableism, Sizism, Transphobia, Racism.

These are the preparation materials, which would traditionally be the more passive, lecture component of the class. These are the materials that my students work with before we get together in class.

Visible Prep materials.docx

This worksheet is what we would be doing in a 2-hour class period, where we have a chance to work together. This time is especially valuable because you can really apply the concepts you learned, while getting perspective and support from other folks. . The worksheet represents 2 hours of work in groups of 3.

This link will take you to a .doc file, for easier editing

Visible identities Worksheet.pdf

This is a summary video I made for my online students. It might give you a sense of some of the ideas from the worksheet and an overall view of the ideas from that lesson.

Here are some great things that I couldn't include in the lesson, if you're interested, keep looking!

Visible Extra materials.docx

Connecting to a previous lesson

This lesson is connected to the lesson on social identities, and the symbols on the social location map. I roughly categorized some of the dynamics around visibility and family patterns as a thinking exercise. None of the categories are perfect, or complete, but thinking about similarities might help us develop empathy.

social location map.pdf