Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MAE - Master of Arts in Expressive Therapies

Department

Expressive Therapies

First Advisor

Jason Butler

Abstract

Abstract

The present research project focuses on exploring how culture influences identity and how the development of a bicultural identity affects bicultural individuals. Having a multicultural or multiethnic identity could be a source of strength and/or confusion, bicultural individuals may have difficulties in identifying and sorting their group membership status and their cultural attitudes, values, perspectives, and behaviors (Navarrete & Jenkins, 2011). The present research proposes that dance movement therapy and the Expressive Therapies could serve as a means to allow individuals to explore and strengthen their cultural identity. A cultural identity workshop was implemented with second grade, English language learner, elementary school students that focused on exploring their culture and identity. The workshop allowed individuals to begin to explore their own cultural identity and served as an example of one way in which such an exploration could be done through the use of the expressive arts. Further research should focus on expanding on the importance of developing a strong cultural identity and on developing ways to encourage this.

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