Culture Shock Interview

| March 16, 2014

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Assignment Guidelines:
Learning about other people’s experiences and how they compare with yours is what intercultural communication is all about. The purpose of this assignment is for you to explore experiences of culture shock and adaptation from the perspective of someone from a different cultural background, and develop basic qualitative research skills. Your task is to interview someone from a different cultural background for around 5-10 minutes and find out how they experienced moving from one culture to another. You then have to i) provide a transcript of the interview; and ii) write an essay showing your analysis.
Procedure and Requirements
1) Choose an interviewee. It can be someone you know well (but from a different culture), or a complete stranger, but whoever it is, you need to deal with ethical aspects of the research, e.g. don’t force them to answer questions they are not comfortable with, and tell them their answers will only be used anonymously and for the purposes of this project.
2) Conduct the interview. Make sure you have their attention and you will not be disturbed by other people. You must record the interview – use your phone, or borrow a camera from Media Services. Keep the recording somewhere safe, as we may ask to see or hear it later in term.
3) Find out from your interviewee:
i. What do they understand by the phrase ‘culture shock’?
ii. What kind of culture shock did they experience moving to London?
iii. What aspects did they find most challenging? What did they find relatively easy?
iv. How does their current lifestyle differ from their previous lifestyle in their home country?
v. What are the major cultural differences between their culture and London/British culture?
4) Transcribe the interview. Listen back to your recording, and write down every word that the interviewee said. Do not change anything. However, you may choose to miss out sections of the interview that are not relevant to your research, e.g. if they start talking about last night’s football match.
5) Write an essay that reports on the interview and what they said. Include an introduction, explanation of methodology (how you chose your interviewee, and how you conducted your interview), presentation of responses and discussion, as well as a brief conclusion. You can also reflect on how this person’s experience of culture shock compares with your own experience. Write about 1500 words (+/- 10%). Show the word count on the front cover.
6) Attach your transcript to your essay as an Appendix, i.e. paste it into the essay document at the end of your essay, so that you have one document. There needs to be a clear distinction between the essay and the Appendix containing the transcript.
IMPORTANT: Do not just copy your interview into your essay. Present your respondent’s answer to a particular question, link these together with other things they said, and then discuss what these responses tell you about culture shock in general.
You will gain higher marks if you:-
• Prepare for your interview beforehand
• Put aside enough time to transcribe the interview
• Plan your essay carefully
• Divide your writing into clear sections/paragraphs
• Provide clear links to the literature
• Check your work thoroughly
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