​Intercultural Interview

Intercultural Interview – 50 pts (10% of course grade)

Interview someone with a cultural background or identity/identities that is significantly different from yours. Cultural identity can be defined by differences in race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, ability, class, religion, age or sexual orientation. When choosing an interview partner, it is critical that you choose someone who grew up with significantly different cultural identities and experiences than you. The assignment is most fruitful when the interviewee’s experiences differ significantly from your own.

Using the below cultural interview questions as a guide, interview your partner about their cultural experiences, values and identities. Write a 4 – to 5-page (double-spaced, size 12 Times New Roman font) essay on your interview that reflects on your partner’s culture and compares it with your own. In your analysis, apply (and mark in bold) four or more of these concepts from the course—values, stereotypes, power, gender, race, class, ethnicity, ethnocentrism, discrimination, history, identity, context, assimilation, culture shock—in a manner that demonstrates your knowledge of them.

Intercultural Interview – Sample questions

The goal of an intercultural interview is to expand your knowledge of another culture as well as your own through dialogue with a person who holds a cultural identity that is significantly different from yours. Before starting the interview, explain the assignment to the interviewee. The questions listed below are suggestions and not meant to be exhaustive; students are welcome to select from, add to, and modify this list as needed.

As with all interviews, it is important to meet in a quiet place where you can talk. It is helpful to record the interview (with your partner’s permission). Think about the questions you want to ask ahead of time and be ready to adapt your questions during the course of the interview.

  1. Tell me a bit about yourself.
  2. What are your interests? How do you like to spend your time?
  3. Who do you most like to spend your time with?
  4. What is your definition of culture?
  5. How do you describe your own culture?
  6. Where and with whom do you feel most “at home”?
  7. Have you ever been in a situation where you felt removed from your culture or culturally “out of place”? What was different about it?
  8. What are some rituals, holidays, foods, or traditions that are important in your culture?
  9. What are your dreams for the future? Why are these important to you?
  10. Have you ever felt excluded based on your gender, race, ethnicity, physical ability, age, class, or cultural identity?
  11. How do you feel that your identity (whether racial/ethnic/class/gender/age/sexual orientation, etc) affects your view of the world?
  12. What would you say is, from your perspective, the most commonly held misconception about members of your culture?
  13. How is your identity influenced by history? (e.g., family history, national history, mainstream or non-mainstream histories, etc.)
  14. What are some of the values or beliefs that are important to you?
  15. What is the best thing about living in the USA?
  16. What is the worst thing about living in the USA?
  17. What are some of the most pressing challenges that society faces today and in the future? How do these challenges relate to your life and/or identity?
  18. What can be done about racism, prejudice and/or intolerance, in your opinion?
  19. Thank you. Is there anything else you would like to share? Is there anything you would like others to know about you or your culture that we have not discussed here?

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