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Demonstrate your understanding of how family and community impacts identity.
There are many factors that can influence one’s identity, either it be place, time, family and community. In psychology and sociology context, identity is a person’s conception and expression of their individuality, we were not born with it, it is not something to do with genetic but it was shaped by the surrounding environment. This paper will focus on how family and community impact one’s identity.
In Sally Story by Sally Morgan, Sally is a girl that slowly learns about her heritage chapter by chapter along with the readers. From the story, it is relevant that Sally give importance to all members in her family. Sally’s father plays an important role in her life especially in the beginning of the story. He is a white soldier that often visits the hospital due to his volatile emotions and the fact that he is alcoholics. His interactions with Sally are more in a positive way as seen from when he was drunk and only Sally can negotiate with him. However, he tends to have a negative opinion towards Nan who is aboriginal. This might be one of the reasons that encouraged Sally to notice the abnormal treatment of her dad towards Nan and make her curious of where exactly did she come from.
Another family member that tends to have a little bit bigger impact on Sally’s identity is her mum. Sally’s mum was the one who tends to take care the most about her throughout the story. Also she is the one that told Sally about their family’s heritage at last. Sally’s mum is partly aboriginal but inherited a lot of aboriginal cultures and thinking from Nan. She is afraid of people in high position as much as Nan does and that reflects through Sally’s identity as she goes against the university’s officer about her scholarship. Although a part of Sally is aboriginal but she was not raised knowing that she is one. Hence, Sally’s identity is contradicting in itself. She can be careless at times, but also caring to her family members. She did not know the reason why other people treated her differently, but she has to get through it which makes her becomes strong and tough.
Lastly, Nan is one of the most influential family members in Sally’s life. Sally did not know why her dad dislike Nan at first but it all becomes clear at the end when she knows that Nan is aboriginal. Nan has a habit that Sally dislike, being afraid of people in power. Due to that, Sally became strong and independent when it comes to dealing with people with power as shown through in chapter 18 as she was suspected guilty for receiving an aboriginal scholarship but not actually one. The fact that Nan and mum mentioned about being ‘black’ is a bad thing and being ‘white’ is everything encourages Sally to stand up and proof that being aboriginal is not something to be ashamed of, she is proud to be one because that’s what makes her who she is.