German Heritage: Feeling Different but Looking the Same

Eaton, Ohio is a predominately white city rich with fascinating history. The small city sits conveniently on the Indiana and Ohio border. The people of Eaton, Ohio are considered to be friendly, as long as you fit into the dominant group.

Although my physical appearance allows me to fit in with Preble County citizens, there are notable differences in my life which set me apart from the rest of the community.

Background Information: Eaton (Located in Preble County, Ohio)
Preble County, Ohio ha incredibly trong agricultural tie . he county hold the extremely o ular Pork Fe ti al the third eek of Se tember each year. hi attract farmer and craft lo er from all o er the country. he Preble County Fair i al o a o ular e ent. Many high chool tudent are in agricultural cla e and li e on farm . hey ho their farm animal during the fair. Preble County i the home of Fort St. Clair. he fort a e tabli hed in 1792 to rotect again t the threat of Indian . here i a gra eyard of merican oldier . We u e thi fort a a ark and it al o ho t our Whi ering Chri tma light ho e ery December.

Racial Identity 
   
I am white. I fit into the ³dominant group´. The county I live in is 8% white. Preble County citizens complain about Hispanics. e have one successful Hispanic-owned e ican restaurant. .6% of Preble County population is Hispanic. 

Religious Identity 

Notice all of Preble County¶s Christian ³recognized´ religions. The ³other´ group ( %) counts for all OTHER religions. I fit in that e tremely broad %; I am an Atheist.  

Religious Identity (continued) 



Preble County citizens side with Christian conservative values. Election results from the past two years above.

Gender Identity 
    
R i ed y tr n M t er ent t t de ree . S en r etin . Gr nd t er l e f l en.

lle e t i e; re ei ed ery e f l reer in

r ed in d erti in . r ed t il y ( l n.´

tly, y nt d erti in ). ³Self-

ffi ient nd d n t rely n

Gender Identity (continued) 

 

Gender identity has influenced my college success. I am terrified of having to rely on others. Grandmother on left; my mother on right.

Cultural Identity 
    
I relate t y Ger an fa ily¶ ay f t in in n liti and reli i n. e Ger an er al and n n er al uni ati n a it . S ea l udly it inten ity an ry. u t ed t Ger an f d. u e. ld. en n t

i e in a Ger an-de ea

rated

e d n t fit re le C unty

Conclusion: hy I sometimes feel uncomfortable although I blend in« 
   
Citizens in Preble County often complain about foreigners. y father became a U. . citizen and e perienced various hardships. I understand the difficulty with language barriers. Often ridiculed for lack of religion. Have been referred to as a ³ atanist´.

Conclusion: hy I sometimes feel uncomfortable although I blend in (continued) 

    

I am an outspoken and determined. any girls I know want to stay at home. I live in a predominately conservative community; I am not conservative. I am e perienced with different foods and traditions. Interviewee claims Preble County people today are uneducated. Lack of shared interests with Preble County people.

So what? How this makes me the person I am today. 
    
I have become a culture broker in community. I sometimes struggle with personal identity. I hide my religious identity. I still ponder my spiritual identity. I understand being white works in my favor. I am used to looking like everyone else.

Questions: 

. How has your ethnic background influenced how you feel you fit into your community? 

. Looking back now, how have your family members influenced your view of gender identity?

References 

(

). Migrations to Preble County, Ohio. Retrieved from http:// www.migrations.org/county.php3?migcounty=Preble % 0County,% 0OH 

Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Agricultural Statistics Service, National Center for Health Statistics & County, Ohio [Data file]. U.S. Census Bureau. ( 00 ). Preble Retrieved from http:// www.fedstats.gov/qf/states/3 /3 35.html Preble County Ohio. ( 00 ). City-Data. Retrieved from http:// www.citydata.com/county/Preble_County-OH.html Martin, J. N., Nakayama, T. K., ( 0 0). Intercultural communication in contexts. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.