Cultural Informant Interview

During the course of the semester students will be required to participate in cross-cultural

experiences outside of the classroom. Students will write a two-page reflective paper on this experiences. The instructor will provide guidance about the experience and the paper in class. (Students will, thus, write a total of three two-page papers of experiential reflections.

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Experiential Learning Activities

Cultural Informant Interview

Identify an individual from your chosen culture to interview. This individual should not be someone with whom you have spoken in depth previously. Explain the class assignment and invite them to spend 1 to 2 hours in conversation with you. Assure them that their names and other personal information shall remain confidential. (This individual may not be the person who hosted you in their home if you ate at someone’s home rather than going to a restaurant.)

Begin by asking them to compare their culture with their host country culture (for most of you that will be American culture, but for some of you—it will be where you are living). If you are interviewing a member of a sub-culture, i.e. LGBT culture or Latino-American culture, then ask them to compare their sub-culture’s culture with the dominant culture i.e. heterosexual culture or Anglo-American culture. Ask them what are the strengths and weaknesses of each or what they like best and like least about each.

If you attended a religious service and have questions about what you saw, heard, or experienced then you can ask them these questions – especially if something surprised you about the experience. Then ask them how their religion has affected their culture and society. If more than one religion is practiced by members of their group, then ask about each one. Then ask how their culture and society has affected their religion or the religions practiced by members of their group.

Next develop and ask questions that will help you to understand whether their culture is situated on four of Hofstede’s continua:

individualist – collectivist
masculine – feminine
power distance
uncertainty -avoidance
Reflect on what went well and what did not go well and what, if anything, you wished you had done differently.

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