The goal for this assignment is to develop a deeper understanding of how the cultural environment shapes human development by, first, gaining awareness of another person’s home culture and, second, reflecting on the similarities and differences between your interviewee’s experiences and your own. In this way, you will demonstrate that you understand the dynamics of cultural diversity.
For this assignment, you will interview an individual between 18 and 40 years old who comes from a culture that is different from your own. The interview will be semi-structured: most questions are provided for you, but you also will ask follow-up questions after each of the required questions in order to gain a detailed understanding of your interviewee’s experiences. You also will write two formal questions of your own. For these questions, think about your own cultural environment and personal experiences up to this point in your life. Considering the culture of the person you are interviewing: what areas of experience do you suspect might be different from your own? Which aspects of the person’s culture are you curious about because you’ve seen news stories or movies about them? Write out your two original questions before conducting your interview.
Required Interview Questions
Read these questions carefully before conducting your interview. Make sure you understand the substance of each question: you must be prepared to paraphrase each question and provide examples as needed in order to communicate effectively with your interviewee. Remember to ask follow-up questions as necessary.
1. Do you think that peer pressure has much to do with drug use in your culture?
2. What other factors do you think influence drug use in your culture?
3. How does your culture deal with suicide?
4. In the U.S, it is common for couples between the ages of 20-40 to cohabitate — live together in a sexual relationship without being married. How is this viewed in your culture?
5. How does your culture deal with puberty — the physical changes boys and girls go through during adolescence?
6. How does your culture view eating disorders?
7. What is the attitude toward gay and lesbian individuals in your culture?
8. How are elderly people viewed and treated in your culture?
Your report must include the following parts:
The person you interviewed: Please do NOT include the name of your interviewee in your assignment. (You may use a pseudonym for him/her.) Report gender, approximate age, home culture, and relation to you, etc. Provide a description of the individual you interviewed while keeping his or her identity confidential unless your interviewee gave you written permission to share his or her identity.
Setting: Describe the time, location, and environment in which the interview occurred.
Transcript/summary of your interview: You are expected to have a voice recorder and notebook/pen with you during the interview. Ask your interviewee whether she or he will allow you to record the interview.
Scenario 1: If you have permission, record the whole interview. Then transcribe the whole interview word for word. Your transcript of the interview will be Part III of your report. If you are using this option, please begin this part with a statement to the effect that you have your interviewee’s permission to record the interview and this is an exact transcript of the interview recording.
Scenario 2: If you do NOT have permission for voice recording, you shall respect your interviewee’s choice. Then politely ask 1) whether he or she would allow you to take notes during the interview, 2) whether he or she would go over your notes with you at the end of the interview to make sure what you wrote down is exactly what he or she wanted to express. If the answer is “yes” to both of questions, you can start the interview and take notes. (If the answer to any of the questions is “no,” then you’ll need to find someone else to interview.) Review the notes with your interviewee to make sure what you wrote down is what your interviewee wants to express. Instead of a transcript, Part III of your paper will include each question you asked and a summary of your interviewee’s responses. Begin the section by stating that you have your interviewee’s permission to take notes. Then present the questions in the order you asked them.
Reflection: Relate the information you gained from the interview to your own experience and the material we have covered in the course so far. Answer these two questions in detail (at least one full paragraph for each question):
Using course concepts and theories, how would you interpret this interview? What have you learned about the role of culture in human development? Make sure you include citations for the concepts/theories you use. Use at least two theories.
Thinking about the overall experience of having conducted this interview, what have you learned personally? Which of your interviewee’s responses do you find most significant, and why?
NOTE: Failure to include correct citations will result in a lower grade (see rubric below) and may be considered academic dishonesty. This applies to textbook material and class notes. When describing a theory, research finding, or trend, translate the ideas into your own words. Explain how you understand the theory. Do not simply copy from class notes, the textbook, or another source. If you use a direct quotation, place it in quotation marks. Whether you use a direct quotation or paraphrase, you must cite the source for each idea you use (e.g. Santrock, 2014, p. 213 OR Class Notes, 11/12/14) and include that source in your paper’s references.
References: List your references, even if you use only the textbook. Use APA format. Please make sure you use APA formatting for your reference page, as well as in-text citations.