Oral History Interview
Throughout the course, you have explored various aspects of culture and intercultural communication. To learn more about other people’s cultures and subcultures, conduct an extensive oral history interview with a person who is somewhat older than you and from a different culture or subgroup from you. This person can be a relative or acquaintance who is from a different generation. It can be someone who immigrated to this country either recently or some time ago. Or, it can be someone who belongs to a different subgroup from you and whose cultural experiences you believe would be very different from your own. Obtain permission from the person you are interviewing to record the conversation (either an audio or video recording) or to take handwritten notes during the interview.
Your overarching goals during the oral history interview are
To learn more about the culture and subcultures to which your interview subject belongs.
To determine how their culture and gender have influenced the way they communicate with others.
To discover what issues they have encountered in their life when engaging in intercultural communication.
To relate concepts you have studied in this course to the experiences of this person.
When conducting the interview, ask the interviewee at least six questions from this list (in addition to at least three questions you create specifically for your interviewee):
How far back in time can the person remember? What is your interviewee’s first childhood memory? (Consider how it reflects the interview subject’s culture or subculture?)
What does the person remember of the experience of being an immigrant or a subgroup member in that time?
Which impressions or experiences from that time are most vivid to your interviewee today?
If your interviewee immigrated to this country, what was the country of origin like in terms of geography, government, transportation, economic system, and education system? If your interviewee was raised in this country, what were these aspects of life like during childhood?
What does the person recall of the communication with members of the dominant culture? What barriers to effective communication did your interviewee encounter?
In the United States today, what is different about your interviewee’s life in terms of language, religion, family customs, diet, recreation, and work, as compared to childhood?
What role did the news media play in the interview subject’s life and in supporting or contesting the views of the interview subject’s culture? How did the media influence the subject’s individual beliefs and opinions about males and females, masculinity and femininity, and other aspects of gender belief systems and views about race and ethnicity? (Cite specific examples given to you regarding these two specific issues.)
If your interview subject spoke a different native language, ask your interviewee to discuss differences between that language and English (consider the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis).
What are some of the most significant differences in day-to-day life in the past versus today?
In addition, you must ask at least three original questions that are specifically tailored to the individual that you are interviewing. You should expect to spend at least 30 minutes interviewing your subject, but some interviews will go longer. Do not rush your interviewee! Give your subject the freedom to talk as long as possible in answering each of your questions.
As part of this assignment, submit a copy of your interview. The following options are acceptable ways of submitting a copy of your interview:
Submit an audio file of the interview to Waypoint. (If you use an audio file, please make sure you copy the link onto your Word document and then upload the document.)
Submit a video file of the interview to Waypoint. (If you use a video or screencast, please make sure you copy the link onto a Word document and then upload the document.)
Create a typed transcript of the interview and submit it as a separate document to Waypoint.
Include in your Final Project a hyperlink to a website where the interview can be watched/heard.
For your Final Project in this course, create a report of the oral history interview that you conducted. To create this report, review your recording of the interview and any notes you took during it, and write a 1,500- to 2,000-word paper (excluding the title and references pages), in which you discuss aspects of this person’s culture and/or subcultures and communication issues related to your interviewee’s cultural identity.
In your paper
Define the concept of intercultural communication.
Explain what can be learned about intercultural communication by conducting an oral interview.
Identify the name of the person you interviewed and their relationship to you.
Create a thesis statement that previews the conclusions you reached as a result of conducting this interview.
Describe the interview subject’s cultural background and the culture and/or subcultures to which your subject belongs.
Analyze the interview subject’s answers to each of the questions you asked during your interview to connect the concepts covered in this course (do not simply provide a transcript of the interview subject’s answers).
Conclude what you learned about intercultural communication as a result of conducting this oral history interview.
Your paper should be written in paragraph form, not in a question and answer format. Thus, you must weave the information you present into a coherent narrative form, paraphrasing the information gleaned from the interview or using direct quotations from your interview subject, as appropriate. Your primary sources of information for this paper will be the interview subject. However, it is important that you also reference material you have studied in the text and other course resources to help support your analysis of your interview subject’s answers. Every chapter in the course text is potentially of relevance to the Final Project, depending on who you interview and what that person focuses on.
Please note: If you received feedback from a Writing Center consultant on your draft from Week 3, please be sure to submit a second document describing, in one paragraph, how you revised your rough draft based on this feedback. This document will be in addition to your Final Project. This additional document describing your revisions based on the feedback you received from the Writing Center is evidence of enhancement of your draft and can raise your score for the final assignment, so be sure to submit it along with your Final Project if you have done this. Working with the Writing Center is highly recommended, but not required.
Please note that if you are a Communications Studies major, this assignment will be an element in your graduation portfolio. If you have not set up your portfolio yet, you may do so by selecting Folio from the menu in your classroom on the left-hand side. If you have set up your portfolio, you can access it the same way. You will be working with your portfolio extensively in the Communications capstone course, COM480. If you are a Communications Studies major, please add this paper to your portfolio. Other students are not required to do this. View the Folio Quick Start Guide for guidance.
For your reference, these are the elements that are required to be included in your portfolio:
COM101 Week 1 assignment “Perspective on Communication” and Final Paper “Personal Communication Skills Assessment”
COM223 Final Paper “Persuasive Campaign for Online Education”
COM325 Final Paper
COM345 Final Project
COM355 Final Paper “The Future of Communication Technology”
COM370 Week 1 assignment “Personal Cultural Profile” and Final Project “Oral History Interview” (This Paper)
COM425 Final Paper
SPE103 A speech of your choice from the class
The Oral History Interview Final Project
Must be at least 1,500 to 2000 words in length (not including title and references pages), double spaced, and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Writing Center.
Must include a separate title page with the following (see Sample APA Title Page):
Title of paper
Course name and number
Must include an introductory paragraph (see Introductions and Conclusions) with a succinct thesis statement (see Writing a Thesis Statement).
Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought.
Must use at least six references (one may be the textbook); include additional resources found on the University of Arizona Global Campus Library Library website.
The Scholarly, Peer Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor. Your instructor has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for a particular assignment.
Be sure to integrate your research rather than simply inserting it (see Integrating Research).
Must include a conclusion that summarizes the main points and restates the thesis (see Introductions and Conclusions).
Must document all sources in text in APA style as outlined in the Writing Center (see Citing Within Your Paper).
Must include a separate references page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Writing Center (see Formatting Your References List).
Resource: Before you submit your written assignment, you are encouraged to review The Grammarly Guide: How to Set Up & Use Grammarly tutorial, set up a Grammarly account (if you have not already done so), and use Grammarly to review a rough draft of your assignment. Then carefully review all issues identified by Grammarly and revise your work as needed.
Hi there! Click one of our representatives below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.