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)?For more information on Collection of Presuppositions read :https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?search=Collection+of+Presuppositions&title=Special%3ASearch&go=Go&ns0=1