Local Cuture Writing Assignment
Instructions for the Written Assignment/ “Local Cultures”
in Culture & Psychology
For the Local Cultures assignment, approximately one-third of the class has been randomly
assigned to write a brief report about one of three local cultural groups in the Tucson area –
(1) U.S. citizens, (2) Mexican citizens and Mexican Americans, and (3) indigenous groups
(the Tohono O’odham or the Pascua Yaqui). You can find the cultural group to which you
have been assigned in the file “Local_Cultures_GROUPS” under “Course Documents.”
To complete the assignment, you must answer the five questions listed below. Please write at
least two paragraphs to answer each question (you can write more if you consider it necessary).
You do not need to write a comprehensive essay paper; rather, you can list the five questions in
your document and provide a separate answer to each question. Nevertheless, please use proper
grammar, clear and correct writing, and proper academic citation style (APA) in your answer to
each question. You must cite at least three scholarly sources total in your responses to these
questions; these can include formal websites with data on your group or from an organization
that represents your group. Examples of the types of sources that will be accepted are given on
the last two pages (you can cite these sources, but I encourage you to find more). You do NOT
need to cite sources relevant to cultural psychological concepts (e.g., individualism/collectivism).
Questions to Answer
1. How would you characterize your group historically, in terms of its “living pattern” in
the Tucson area? Does the group have a long or a relatively short history of living in this area?
Have there been trends in migration rates for this group into or out of this area? Is the group
living voluntarily in Tucson and the United States?
2. How would you characterize your group in terms of the following cultural variables?
A. Independent (individualist) vs. interdependent (collectivist)
B. Residentially mobile vs. residentially stable
C. Relatively higher SES vs. relatively lower SES
3. How would you characterize the religious beliefs and activities of your group? Does there
seem to be religious diversity within your group? Have the religious practices of your group
changed in recent years? How important is religion for the daily life of your group?
4. How do you believe your group feels in Tucson and the United States? Is their experience
generally positive, negative, or complicated? Does your group want to be part of the broader
(U.S.) society, or does it resist assimilation? Does it identify strongly with this region, or not?
5. How do you believe your group feels about the other two groups discussed here? Are
relations between the groups harmonious or strained? What is the history of their relations? What
is the balance of power? Are there any relations? How does your group view the relations?
Your written assignment should be submitted before our class meeting on November 10th. There
are three “Local Cultures” Dropboxes in d2L – submit your assignment to the appropriate one.
Clarke, J. N., & Gerlak, A. K. (1998). Environmental racism in the Sunbelt? A cross-cultural
analysis. Environmental Management, 22, 857-867.
Dobyns, H. F. (1976). Spanish Colonial Tucson: A demographic history. Tucson: University of
Meeks, E. (2007). Border Citizens: The making of Indians, Mexicans, and Anglos in Arizona.
Austin: University of Texas Press.
Sonnichsen, C. L. (1982). Tucson: The life and times of an American city. Norman, OK:
University of Oklahoma Press.
Mexican Citizens and Mexican Americans
Officer, J. (1960). Historical factors in interethnic relations in the community of Tucson.
Arizoniana, 1(3), 12-16.
Williams, B. L., & Florez, Y. (2002). Do Mexican Americans perceive environmental issues
differently than Caucasians: A study of cross-ethnic variation in perceptions related to
water in Tucson. Environmental Health Perspectives, 110, 303-310.
Erickson, W. P. (1994). Sharing the desert: The Tohono O’odham in history. Tucson: University
of Arizona Press.
Kozak, D. L. (1991). Dying badly: Violent death and religious change among the Tohono
O’Odham. OMEGA: Journal of Death and Dying, 23(3), 207-216.
McIntyre, A. J. (Ed.; 2008). The Tohono O’odham and Pimeria Alta. In collaboration with the
Arizona Historical Society. San Francisco: Arcadia Publishing.
Miller, M. E. (1994). The Yaquis become American Indians: The process of federal tribal
recognition. The Journal of Arizona History, 35(2), 183-204.
Spicer, E. H. (1988). People of Pascua. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
Spicer, E. H. (1980). The Yaquis: A cultural history. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
Stull, D. D. (1978). Native American adaptation to an urban environment: The Papago of
Tucson, Arizona. Urban Anthropology, 7(2), 117-135.
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