Prepare for this assignment by reviewing the readings and your notes up to this point in the term. This may include looking at the culture, socialization, stratification and race/identity topics. Feel free to review any additional information regarding gender and race if necessary for your interview. NOTE: If you are unable to meet in person, you can conduct your interview over the phone, Skype, FaceTime, etc.,
Arrange an interview with someone who is a professional acquaintance (no family members or your best friend, please). This should be a 1-hour interview where you have chosen some open-ended questions to ask. You may send me your list of questions if you wish and I can help guide you.
The topic for your paper is sociological identity. This could be centered around one’s identity concerning culture, socialization, social class, group identity, gender/sexuality, racial/ethnic identity, etc. It can certainly be a mix of all of those.
Put together a list of questions, at least 8-10 solid questions. Keep the interview as non-directive (meaning no ‘leading questions’ – example, “I bet that made you feel really bad, huh?”) as possible and use the time to develop the interview as a special kind of conversation, letting the person’s responses regarding his or her identity guide the focus. Listening and seeking to understand the person’s expression and perspective are key to such an interview (remember to don your sociological cap).
Include all these components or points will be forfeited:
Pseudonym for your interviewee (Jane Doe)
Briefly describe the interview setting (A small cafe on N. Main Street, Providence, RI in the middle of the busy lunch rush)
Ascribed Statuses: (list at least 3 – this assumes you will ask this of your interview subject)
Achieved Statuses: (list at least 3)
Analysis/Application of questions: (DO NOT type word for word what is said, I’m not asking for a transcript, use sociology concepts throughout your writing)
Reflection of interview (a paragraph or two at the end of your paper on YOUR thoughts – what you learned, what intrigued you about the interview)
You may record the interview (with permission) but it may be best if you don’t. Use it as an opportunity to jot down key terms and phrases during the interview on a notepad instead. Immediately afterward, write up a fuller description. Write up the conversation descriptively. Conclude with your reflections on the interview: the interactions and dynamics between you and the person interviewed, your analysis of topics explored, any other observations you have. Approach your writing from a sociological point of view at all times.
Include the questions you asked throughout your essay and include a list at the end (this list is NOT part of your minimum page count). FOR FULL CREDIT, YOU MUST BE ABLE TO TAKE WHAT YOUR INTERVIEW SUBJECT SAID AND APPLY IT TO KEY SOCIOLOGICAL TERMS AND CONCEPTS YOU HAVE LEARNED IN THIS CLASS. Failure to do so results in major POINTS DEDUCTION.
The paper should be MINIMUM 4 full pages and not more than 6 pages); double-spaced; 11-12-pt font; Margins: 1” (top, bottom, left & right). You should use terminology learned in class and in the texts and be sure to properly cite when appropriate. Please use your own words! Grammar and spelling ARE important.
If you have questions please post them in the Questions forum so that other students can see, in case they have a similar question.