Cultural Interview Essay
***Please be sure the content of the paper includes the requirements listed in the grading criteria***
Interview someone who is of a culture other than your own. This is an assignment in which you are encouraged to stretch or go out of your comfort zone. Please do not put yourself in any unsafe circumstance. Also, keep in mind that culture can be defined much more broadly that race or ethnicity. You might consider interviewing someone who is of a faith/religion far different than your own or your upbringing. You might consider talking with someone from a completely different socio-economic status of your own. If you have minimal experience with the LGBTQ community, you might also consider talking to someone who is gay, lesbian or transgendered. This assignment was developed for you to create an opportunity for personal and professional growth.
Address the following topics during the interview:
- How the person defined his/her own culture.
- How the person’s culture has affected his/her life.
- How privilege, oppression or discrimination has impacted their life (historic and/or current)
- How would they describe areas of interpersonal communication in their culture (e.g., cultural norms, verbal and non-verbal communication [i.e. this might include showing a sign of respect or disrespect]).
Steps for the interview
1. Narrow down the cultural group (different cultural background than you) — Identify whom you will interview.
2. Explain the overall purpose of the interview (class assignment, learning about various culture, cultural experiences). Clarify with them approximately how long they have to meet with you (this will depend on their availability and what might be culturally appropriate).
3. Explain confidentiality (Their identity will remain confidential --and then YOU MUST KEEP IT THAT WAY. You will be using a pseudonym [fake name] in your written work. Any identifiable data about the interviewee must be held in complete confidence).
4. Schedule the interview at a mutually agreed location and time/date.
Preparation for Interview
- Make sure you are clear about what questions to ask in advance. Consider creating an interview guide and practicing beforehand. Use open and clarification questions during the interview.
- Please do not record the person you are interviewing.
- Before beginning the interview:
- Consider sharing/discussing your interview questions with them before the interview so that they have an idea of what you will be asking them (keep in mind that the person may not be literate).
- Inform the interviewee that they may choose at any time not to answer questions with which they may uncomfortable or do not fit for them.
- Ask them if you may take a few notes during the dialog.
- Remember not to use your interview guide or your note taking in a way that interferes with your dialog.
- You may want to expand your questions based on their answers during the dialog.
- And, above all, remember that this is a conversation with a purpose, and not meant to create discomfort with the person with whom you will be speaking!
- Think ahead of time about how you can work on having a natural and comfortable style with them.
- At the end of your interview, remember to conclude the interview by thanking them for their participation.
- Please schedule time for yourself afterword’s to reflect on the interview to include what was said, what you observed, your own thoughts, reactions and feelings about the experience.
Following the Interview
- Immediately after the interview, find a quiet place (your car, a coffee shop) where you can write/type more extensive notes and reflect on your interview.
- This is absolutely essential to do so that you will not forget the details of the interview.
- If you do not allow for immediate time for more extensive note taking and self-refection, you will forget the subtle details of what was said and what you observed.
- Include in your notes your own thoughts, reactions and feelings.
Organization of the Paper (Use headings)
Summary of the Interview
Describe the main points corresponding to the interview topics (listed above) from your interview. In your summary, include your own impressions and observations of the interview.
Reflection of the Interview
- Describe what you learned from the interview and provide a thoughtful reflection about own thoughts, surprises, reactions and feelings to the interview.
- Discuss what you found to be similar or different than your own cultural norms, views and experiences.
- Reflecting back on the interview, would you have done anything differently?
Format: 4-5 page, double spaced essay. Please submit this essay in canvas via the assignment tab. APA Formatting
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