Barbara Reeves-Ellington

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Ethnicity
    I am categorized by the census as "Caucasian" or "white"
  • Religion
    nominal Christian (i.e. I was raised a Christian but do not practice)
  • Level of education
  • Family status (children included)
    married, three adult stepchildren
  • Place of birth (town, state)
    West Bromwich, England
  • Now living in (town, state)
    Delmar, NY, USA

1. This question is too open-ended. Some parameters would be helpful. If I am obliged to define my identity by some of the usual qualifiers, I will say that I am a woman and am most aware of that identity. I am made aware by the society in which I live that I am white, and that whiteness bestows certain privileges. I am aware that I was born into the working class and have working class principles but that I now live among the well-to-do middle class thanks to the benefits of a good education and a well-salaried position. Having lived in several different countries and having dual UK-US citizenship, I believe that I am not nationalistic; yet I am aware that my thinking is shaped by an Anglo-Saxon heritage. I like to think that I am European but suspect that I am more American. I am not particularly religious, but when the church bells ring I start singing Protestant hymns, a function of the power of religion in my youth, perhaps. I am heterosexual, but I don't think about it. I enjoy my profession but it does not define me, perhaps because I have changed it. I am very attached to my family and feel that my roots are in family; nevertheless, family does not provide identity.

2. Gender-class. See above response.

3. Gender, class, education, travel

4. I really cannot answer this question. Perhaps my thinking is not sufficiently creative.

5. No response.

6. Gender and class discrimination in my youth have made me determined to succeed.

7. The consequences are that life is more complex, expectations are sometimes met differently, patience and tolerance need to be developed; but life is richer, opportunities are greater, perspectives are broader. Sometimes you feel that you don't fit in; at other times, you feel that you are a citizen of the world. Life is never dull.

8. I am extremely thankful! I have lived and worked in England, France, Germany, Bulgaria, and the United States. I enjoy change and the opportunities that new cultures offer.

9. My identity is a bit confused, so pieces of it feel strongly at different times. For example, when the church bells ring locally (three times a day) and I hear them, I am likely to start singing Protestant hymns, a powerful reminder of my religious roots despite my current nominal status.

10. Not really.