Instructions for Doing Cultural Interviews
Grief in a Family Context -- HPER F460/F560
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
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):
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.
- What kind of traditions and rituals do you have to commemorate a death?
- What are some of the beliefs you hold that offer comfort in times of loss?
- What about beliefs that could add to the pain of loss?
- What are your beliefs about life after death?
- How would you define healthy and unhealthy grief?
- What is the relationship between your private grief and your public mourning?
- How useful do you think group support is in facilitating successful resolution
After you have finished the interview, you will need to write it up. In the write-up,
be sure to include the following:
- Briefly and broadly, describe the cultural background of this individual (as
I did myself, earlier in this page, as "a 54 year old, married, middle-class,
university professor, a third generation American of Slovak descent, with an urban,
blue-collar, Catholic background").
- Write up the content of the interview. There is no one single way to do this:
You may wish to write it as a series of questions and answers; you may find that
writing it in narrative form better suits your communication and writing style.
If you are concerned about your style, contact me.
- In your write-up, the anonymity of your interviewee is important to maintain. Be sure to change his or her name and any identifying details.
- Post your interview on Oncourse, in the discussion forum designated
for the Interviews. If you have received
permission to post the interview on the public website let me know. You can fax
(812-855-7092) or bring the signed study information sheet to me.
Page created: 5/99. Last updated: 9/6/05.
Copyright 1999-2005, Kathleen R. Gilbert, Ph.D.
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