Deep Culture Exploration Whitney Wilkey

How does your family identify ethnically or racially? We identify as caucasian

What type of community do you live in? I grew up in a suburban area outside Kansas City

What is your story of your family in America? I always ask my parents and they have no clue, it feels really strange not knowing where I came from

How would you describe your family's socio-economic status? How did that effect your quality of life? Growing up, my family was middle class. My quality of life was great, there were times when my parents would give me money to go with friends, but then they wanted me to get a job and make my own money too

Were you the first in your family to attend college? On my dad's side, no. He and his father both attended college, but on my mom's side I could be the first to graduate college

What stories or folklore if you regularly hear growing up? Mainly stories from children's books, Goldi Locks and the Three Bears, etc.

What are some of your favorite family traditions? In my family, we are huge on birthdays, so every year on our birthday the "birthday fairy" comes and decorates our door, kitchen, and leaves candy

Who were some heroes celebrated in your family and why? Who were the anti-heroes, "the bad guys?" I don't remember any specific heroes celebrated, but my dad always spoke highly of his parents and it made me respect them more. My family is also in the cattle business and they did not like whenever anyone would talk about being vegetarian, that is the only anti-hero I can think of

What family stories are often told or are referenced? What message do they reflect of core values? The stories of how my grandparents, and parents met are often told. They both met each other at a young age so there are lots of stories about how their love grew. My family is very big on loving each other and I think this represents that.

Review primary messages from your upbringing. What did your parents, neighbors, and other authority figures tell you respect looked like? Disrespect? It was always important to be polite to strangers, elders and even household family members. Respect was acknowledging others, and having conversations instead of sitting on your phone at dinner. That's one thing my grandma can't stand and thinks is very disrespectful

How were you trained to respond to different emotional displays- crying, anger, and happiness? Both my mom and I are very sensitive, and so it was always okay to cry and show that type of emotion in my family. Whenever my sister and I were angry at each other, it was expected that we sit down and talk about what was wrong. My parent's hope is for us to always be happy

How were you expected to interact with authority figures? Was authority of teachers and other elders assumed or did it have to be earned? My parents always stressed to my sister and I to respect our elders. My mom's mom can be very pushy and always questioning me, and no matter how annoyed I was in my head, I was not allowed to show that to her.

As a child did you call adults by their first name? I called them Mr. or Mrs. until they told me I could call them something different

What got you shunned or shamed in your family? LYING!!!

What earned you praise as a child? If another parent told my parents that I was respectful, or did something well while in their care my parents always appreciated that more than anything

Were you allowed to question, or talk back to, adults? Was it okay to call adults by their first name? I could question them if we were on a certain topic, but never in a rude way. I only call adults by their first name if they tell me to.

What is your family's relationship with time? Out of all my aunts/uncles/cousins, our family is always the most on time, sometimes early

What messages did you get about why other racial or ethnic groups succeeded or not? I didn't receive any direct message, but I developed my own thoughts on it as a child. I always wondered why groups of a certain race all lived in apartments, or why some of my white friends lived in huge mansions and others did not. It was not necessarily succeeding, I just did not understand why there was a difference between our communities when we were living in the same one and going to the same schools.

What did your culture teach you about intelligence? My culture taught me that you can either be book smart or you can be street smart, not both. If you were street smart, you could still do well in school you just had to try harder.

Did you grow up believing intelligence was set at birth, or did you believe it was genetic? I grew up to believe that intelligence was genetic, not learned. It was taught to me that if you did not get the genetic trait of being smart, trying harder than the rest will eventually get you there.

Did you believe some groups were smarter than others? Yes, as a child I always thought the Asians in my class were the smartest. Even in high school, I had a question on math homework, and I asked this boy who was Asian in my class for help because I thought he would be able to help, turns out he was just as lost as I was.

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