Instructions for Doing Cultural Interviews

Grief in a Family Context -- HPER F460/F560


Don't Forget

This activity is unique in that it is not contained in a single week. The initial assignment for the activity is in Unit 3 (Culture). It is due the week between Units 7 and 8. Be sure to turn it in when you complete the write-up and, if you want to have it posted on the public server, in addition to being posted on Oncourse for private class discussion, you will need to send in your signed Study Information Sheet.

Tasks to Complete

For this activity, you will need to 1) interview someone about their culture and grief, and 2) write about it. Interview someone you view as culturally different from yourself. You may choose to define what "difference" would be. It may be based on any number of things: ethnicity, race, religious, class, gender, age, generation, sexual orientation, health status, etc.


Contact the person you wish to interview, telling him or her about the interview. You will need to print out two copies of the Study Information Sheet and then give one to the individual you are interviewing and send one to me. Please note that the person you are interviewing has the choice about whether the interview write-up is to be posted here on the public website or only on Oncourse (for class members only). Those interviewees who agree to have their interview posted to the public site will need to sign the study information sheet giving us permission to do that and you will need to mail a copy of the sheet to me. Those people who do not want their interview posted to the public site will be given a copy of the form with the consent section marked out.


Conduct your interview using the following questions (follow their lead if their response leads them to talk about other related ideas). They are stated here as questions, but you may wish to rephrase or reorder them):

  1. What kind of traditions and rituals do you have to commemorate a death?
  2. What are some of the beliefs you hold that offer comfort in times of loss?
  3. What about beliefs that could add to the pain of loss?
  4. What are your beliefs about life after death?
  5. How would you define healthy and unhealthy grief?
  6. What is the relationship between your private grief and your public mourning?
  7. How useful do you think group support is in facilitating successful resolution of grief?
After you have completed your interview, visit the Cultural Interview discussion forum on Oncourse or look at the interviews that were conducted by past students or your fellow students, that are located on the Unit 3 page.



After you have finished the interview, you will need to write it up. In the write-up, be sure to include the following:

Page created: 5/99. Last updated: 9/6/05.
URL: http://www.indiana.edu/~famlygrf/support/instructions_interview.html
Copyright 1999-2005, Kathleen R. Gilbert, Ph.D.

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