The single story, often referred to as the master narrative, is a collection of presuppositions, commonly held wisdoms, and shared understandings [created] by the dominant group about the outgroup. These presuppositions, wisdoms, and understandings…subsume differences and contradictions and narrowly define people and their identities…These are ‘stories we were taught and teach ourselves about who does what and why’ (Berry, 2010, p. 25; see Romeo & Stewart, 1999). In Adichie’s (2009) TedTalk, she argued that the single story creates stereotypes; and the [main] problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story…The consequence of the single story is…[that] it robs people of dignity. As such, this paper asks you to look back at your overall experience and to evaluate its impact (or lack thereof) on your current views of the ‘single story,’ and the dangers (or insignificance) of relying on a single story to make sense of a social phenomenon Description—This assignment is broken up into 3 interconnected parts: I. What’s your single story? • Describe a set of assumptions or single story that you have relied on or still rely on to discuss, think about, and evaluate a specific ‘story’ about ‘who does what and why.’ This assignment only works if you’re willing to be candid and reflect deeply about a single story that you were taught/taught yourself—THIS IS YOUR SINGLE STORY and not what others think about you or a group of people. • Be sure to explain how or/and when you came about that single story—it may be useful to think about what/who has kept that single story ‘alive’ for you. • How does that single story help you understand/define certain aspects of your own identity and relationship to your everyday worlds? Use one of the readings/videos discussed in class to support your claims. II. Work Cited • Begin with a brief summary and evaluation of your overall experience in this course. Feel free to include specific moments to illustrate or support your summary. • Choose at least 3 readings/videos (can be more than 3) discussed in class that can help you describe the impact that this course has had on the single story that you shared in the previous section. DO NOT WASTE TIME SUMMARIZING ARTICLES. The articles that you select are a ‘representative sample’ of how the course has reshaped/redefined your relationship to the dangers of the master narrative—use the articles to further your reflections/analyses. • Select 3 of your discussion posts that can be used as further and concrete evidence of the kind of impact has had on you, your identity and your current views of the single story. This is your chance to quote and cite yourself—for direct quotes, please indicate the Journal Entry # and date that it was posted. For example, “Well said. However, your answer to the final prompt could’ve been developed further” (Journal Entry 7, 01/23/2020). III. Now, what? You have shared a single story that still informs or has informed your perspective on an issue or phenomenon. Then, you evaluated your overall experience in this course and analyzed its impact on your relationship to that single story and the dangers of master narratives. Now, what? • What do you think is your role in developing and promulgating a counterstory (Berry, 2010, p. 25) to the single story that you were taught or taught yourself? Explain. • What can/will you do (or continue doing) in your everyday worlds to raise awareness about the dangers of the master narrative and help to “subvert the reality [created by] the dominant group” (p. 25)?
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