Ethnographic Interview: Pre-Interview Research Assignment Instructions
This assignment will be completed before you write the interview questions and before you conduct the ethnographic interview. It will consist of research on the interviewee’s culture and your personal reflection on your role as the researcher in the interview process. This assignment will provide a basic overview of the cultural values and practices of the person you will be interviewing for the next assignment. Please note that the research findings will be generalizations about the culture and there may be differences in how the interviewee actually implements these concepts in their daily life and interactions, but this research will give you a starting point as you prepare for the interview. This is the second of four assignments of the Ethnographic Interview series.
You will need to select a person that you will interview for the Ethnographic Interview series in the coming weeks. When selecting a person for the interview, note that the interviewee must be from a different cultural background than the culture that you would identify as your home culture. The interviewee may not be someone who is related to you or had influence in your upbringing. The interviewee must have spent the majority of their developmental years under the influence of parents or guardians who were also born and raised in the culture that they are representing for the interview. The interviewee must be able to respond to the questions in the first person, as a locally born, active participant in the culture they are representing. The interviewee may not be someone who moved into the culture for work or ministry purposes as an adult or was transplanted into the culture by their non-national parents. Please do not interview a military kid or missionary kid or an individual who moved to the culture represented in the interview as an adult.
So, who can you interview? Howell and Paris define culture as “the total way of life of a group of people that is learned, dynamic, shared, power-laden, and integrated.” This means that culture is not necessarily defined by geographical location, but by the shared experiences which have impacted the worldview (beliefs, values, and practices) of a group of people. You may interview an unrelated immigrant, international student, foreign professional, neighbor who grew up in a different country or in a significantly different region of the US (you grew up in New York City, but your neighbor grew up in southern Texas), someone from a significantly different socioeconomic class, etc.
The paper should contain the following sections:
Introduction: Briefly introduce the interviewee. How do you know the interviewee? Why did you choose to interview this person? You may use a pseudonym (fake name). What culture is the interviewee representing?
Research on the Interviewee’s Culture: You will learn more about the worldview, cultural values and practices, and conflict approaches most prevalent in your interviewee’s culture. These elements will also be the foundation for the upcoming Interview Questions Assignment and the Analysis and Reflection Assignment, which will come after this assignment in the Ethnographic Interview series. Use at least 5 citations from 3 scholarly sources (this can include the course textbooks) in this assignment.
Worldview: What is the main religion practiced in the interviewee’s culture? What do the people generally believe about humanity and God? How might these beliefs impact the values and practices of a typical individual in this culture?
Cultural Values and Practices:
Communication Practices: Are the people in this culture direct or indirect communicators? Is this a low or high context communication culture? What values are shown through these practices? How might this impact communication with outsiders?
Relationships: Which relationships (societal, marital, familial) are most valued and how is this manifested in the culture? Is the culture collectivist or individualist? How does this manifest itself in daily interactions and basic life decisions?
Conflict: How does this culture address conflict? Do they express their thoughts and feelings publicly? Is “saving face” important in this culture? How does this concept impact the approach to conflict?
How does the typical worldview in this culture impact communication practices, relationships, and approach to conflict of the average person in this culture?
The Researcher: Discuss the elements that make up your worldview. What are the general approaches to communication, relationships, and conflict in your culture? How does your worldview impact your communication practices, relationships, and approach to conflict? How do your approaches impact interactions with people from other cultural backgrounds?
How do your communication practices, relationships, and approach to conflict compare to the approaches of the interviewee’s culture?
What are the implications/challenges for someone from the interviewee’s culture interacting with your culture based on the research findings?
Reflection and Conclusion: What considerations should you, as the researcher, make as you prepare for this interview, keeping in mind your research findings and personal worldview? How might your knowledge of the anthropological perspective, participant observation, and rapport be useful to the interview process?
The assignment must be written as a formal paper and should include the following elements:
Length of Assignment: minimum 3 pages of content
In addition to the 3 pages, the paper should include a title page and bibliography.
Format of Assignment: Current Turabian formatting is required.
Number of Citations: A minimum of 5 citations from 3 different scholarly sources, including the textbooks and other scholarly sources, are required.
Acceptable Sources: Scholarly sources are defined as textbooks, books written based on academic research, and academic journal articles.
Unacceptable Sources: travel websites, personal blogs, information blogs (about.com, bibleinfo.com), consultant sites, popular culture websites, essay writing websites, Wikipedia, YouTube, opinion articles, all sources that do not have an author, all sources that do not cite any other research.
*Note: Your assignment will be checked for originality via the SafeAssign plagiarism tool.
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