Cultural Background Interview Essay Outline

Educ 1100 Human Diversity & PEA 299 Intercultural Understanding and Competence: Spring 2004 - Vaxjo University: Kajsa Higgins & Helen Mongan-Rallis

1100 Syllabus|Schedule|Assignments|Resources

Interview: Learning About Another Person's Culture

Purpose of assignment: To learn about another culture by reading about and then interviewing a person from this culture.


  1. Identify a person from a culture that is different to yours. Research various sources (Internet and library) to gain some background knowledge about this person's culture. You should read at least 3 different and credible readings. Summarize key findings from these readings (approximately one page, using bulleted format ) citing sources appropriately and listing full references at the end of your summary.
  2. Review the handout Questions to Guide You in Learning About a Person's Culture. Select 8-10 of these questions (more if you want, but choose at least 8) plus add any other questions that you would like to ask. Develop a written set of interview questions that you plan to use in your interview. You do not need to ask all these questions or ask them in the order you have them listed, as you will find that if you use open-ended questions they lead to other questions based on the person's response.
  3. Interview a suitable person using the questions you have prepared and drawing on your background knowledge from your research.
  4. Interview the person. Although it is very useful to take notes in the interview and/or tape record the interview, you need to be sensitive to how the person may react if you do this as well as to how it will influence you if you are taking notes as you do the interview (for this reason it is useful to do this assignment in pairs, so one of you can write while the other asks questions).
  5. Analyze the responses from the interview and present a summary of your findings. This may be in the form of:
    • a written essay (1-2 pages single spaced).
    • an illustrated essay (with photographs/pictures/drawings. Example: If appropriate and with permission, you may take photos of the person and where they live, pictures of the person's home/work place/environment/artifacts from the person's story; you may scan in pictures the person has shared with you, or you may draw your own pictures to illustrate points in your story.)
    • a story written from the perspective of the person you interviewed.

What you should turn in:

  1. Summary of research findings from at least 3 credible sources (approximately one page, using bulleted format.) Cite sources appropriately and listing full references at the end of your summary.
  2. List of the questions you planned to ask in the interview, noting which ones you actually ended up asking (and adding in any others that you included impromptu during the interview).
  3. Analysis of the interview (in essay, illustrated essay, or story form).

1100 Syllabus|Schedule|Assignments|Resources

Cultural Interview Essay

1426 WordsMay 14th, 20116 Pages


My cultural interview was with a coworker, 28 years of age and of Hispanic descent. While conducting the interview I learned a lot about the Hispanic culture. Many Hispanics like to be called Latino (a). Some do not like to be referred to as Mexican when they are from other countries other than Mexico. Hispanics also use slang within their culture just like African Americans. Within the culture the male is the dominant figure in the household. All the decisions that affect the family go through the father. If there is no father in the house, the oldest son fulfills that role. The older son may drop out of school so that they may assist the mother at the house in the absence of the father. Many Hispanics…show more content…

Their family got together every opportunity they could. They had many traditional things they did as a family such as a gathering of family every year for her grandmother’s death, but as a celebration. Every year on Christmas Eve her family would also draw together to exchange gifts at different relative’s houses. The interviewee stated this became a tradition for her family because the married people in the family had to attend festivities at their spouses’ relatives. English and Spanish are both spoken in the Hispanics households. The majority of the older members of the family only speak Spanish. My interviewee stated that she did not know how to speak Spanish, but her mother did and fluently. She stated that her mother has always told her that she needed to know Spanish because that was her heritage, but she never felt it very necessary. The Hispanic culture celebrates the coming of age which is called a 15 or Quinceaneras. The Quinceanernas is usually a big production for the girls. The girls have escorts and dress in a formal type ballroom dress and have many of her friends and relatives there for the celebration. My interviewee stated that she did not have a Quinceaneras because she did not really get into it. She also stated that she got pregnant and did not want her parents to spend all that money for the celebration. The boys on the other hand do not go all out with this type of celebration, but instead celebrate at their

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