Intercultural Interview Paper
CMTH 215 Intercultural Communication
Cultural Investigation: Interview Paper Guidelines
Value- 100 points
* To facilitate communication between students from different cultures.
* To encourage you to become familiar with a specific culture as you investigate its unique customs, traditions, values, and lifestyles.
*To help you develop sensitivity toward the people of the culture you choose to study, enabling you to communicate better with people from that culture and others.
1. You will choose someone to interview who has different cultural background than your own or identifies with a different culture than you. Make contact with a co-worker, a neighbor, a friend of a friend. Send me an email with your interviewee’s name and email address.
2. Gather some basic background information about their culture (and their country, depending on the culture chosen) before speaking with your interview partner.
A. Look over grading rubric and SAMPLE PAPER before your interview
B. Make sure to get the full name of your interviewee, for your paper and citation page
C. Focus your interview questions and subsequent research on the following items:
A. Geographical location: continent and surrounding countries. What is it about geography that influences your perceptions of the culture? How does your partner see geographic location as significant to the history of their culture?
B. The People: (general attitudes and values) Ask about religions practiced, language(s) spoken, holidays celebrated (religious and political), gender roles and stereotypes, co-cultures within the dominant culture, etc.
C. Lifestyle: what makes up the family unit; dating/courtship rituals, marriage ceremony; recreational activities; food (everyday and specialty), housing styles; orientation toward time and privacy, common occupations for people your age
D. Customs and Courtesies: (customary behaviors) greeting rituals, what to expect when visiting someone’s home, eating courtesies, personal appearance expectations
E. Communication style: high or low context, gender influences on interpersonal communication, useful words and phrases and nonverbal gestures to know or avoid
F. Hofstede’s dimensions of cultural variability: individualism/ collectivism, high/low power distance, uncertainty avoidance, long or short term orientation…your partner may not know these categories, but they will surely give you examples that you recognize as belonging to these dimensions. Provide these examples in your paper
G. Particular information one should know to be successful as a visitor to their country, or any other information you are curious about that you think readers would be interested in knowing
*If you are unable to get answers to the above items from your interview, use our textbook, or google scholar to complete your research.
3. Write a paper describing your interview and their culture. You should use the above categories to organize your paper. Make sure to include a bibliography, using MLA citations, for all of the information in your paper- both the interview and the research. The research you’ve done about the culture should be interspersed throughout the discussion of the interview. Use in-text citations…everything your partner tells you must be cited (Acerra). Every bit of information you use from researched sites must also be cited in the body of the paper. Your paper should be a minimum of five (5) full pages, double-spaced, 12 point font. Please print on both sides. Make your margins narrow.
An “A” paper includes:
- A well-developed introduction and conclusion
- Sufficient research about the particular culture (answers to items A-G) with reference citations in the body of the paper (internal citations)
- Sufficient information from the personal interview, woven together with your research
- MLA citations of interview date and research materials sourced
- Free from spelling and grammatical errors (Have someone at the Learning Center proofread it for you)
- Handed in on the due date
- Interesting in the presentation of interview material and knowledge from research
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