Family Interview – Compare and Contrast Cultures Paper
It is important to identify and understand your own family culture in order to be able to understand and respect other cultures. Interview a family member, and an individual from another culture with which you are unfamiliar. Some examples of an individual from another culture to consider for the assignment include a neighbor, coworker, patient, or friend. Please inform the individuals of the purpose of this assignment and make sure you receive their consent.
Review the “Family Interview ” template prior to the interview. Additional space is designated on the template for you to create three additional questions to ask both interviewees (family member and person from another culture). Additional questions should be relevant to the readings or discussion and should provide value to the interview by helping to understand culture.
Some of the questions may include:
1. Family beliefs: Have they changed over generations?
2. Educational and occupational status in the culture and in the family
3. Communication methods: verbal and nonverbal
4. Current family goals/priorities
5. Family member roles and organizational systems
6. Spiritual beliefs: current practice and death and dying
7. Alternative lifestyles
8. Work attitudes and structure
Using the “Family Interview ” template, interview your designated family member and the person from another culture. Be sure to write your responses in a way that will assist you in writing your paper. After the interview is completed, write a paper of 750-1,000 words that includes the following:
1. An introductory paragraph with the reasons for selecting the interviewees
2. A summary of the responses from the interview template gathered from the interviewees
3. A comparison and contrast of your findings between the two interviewees
4. A reflective concluding paragraph on how family roles affect the cultural domains and relationships for each individual
Submit both the completed “Family Interview” template and the written paper” to the instructor.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. A link to the LopesWrite technical support articles is located in Class Resources if you need assistance.
The first interviewee is a forty-five-year-old Caucasian female. She is married and has two children. She is a close relative and hence provided insights into my culture. Meanwhile, the other respondent is a twenty-year-old African-American first-year college student. He is a neighbor and friend and was willing to participate in the interview. Both participants were conveniently available, which is the main reason behind their inclusion.
The interview focused on the respondents’ perceptions and understanding of culture and family and their roles within these constructs. Table 1 summarizes the responses to the various questions.
|Question/ Domain||Family Member||Other Respondent|
|Family/gender roles||Breadwinner alongside husband. In the past, her role would be limited to household issues.||The role is undefined, except occasionally assisting with chores. The focus is education and social development.|
|Family goals||Growth (in education, sports, art, etc.) and character development||Education and leadership.|
|Alternative lifestyles||Generally accepted now but disregarded in the past.||They have been generally accepted throughout recent history.|
|Family religious beliefs||Christians, but not as devout as in the past.||Devout Christians to date.|
|Death and dying||Respect and dignity for the dead and a half-hearted spiritual inclination.||Biblical beliefs on death and life after death.|
|Education/occupational status||Education and occupation are open to all regardless of gender or age. In the past, men had an advantage in getting better education and income opportunities.||Education is the key to economic and social growth.|
|Communication methods||Verbal. The community interpreted some behavior as relaying certain messages.||Verbal and non-verbal. Non-verbal communication is a sign of cultural identity and unity, e.g., the dap.|
|Medical practice’s perception||Accepts the scientific basis of medical practices.||While the science makes sense, there is skepticism about the motivation of care providers.|
Table 1: Interview Responses
Comparison and Contrast of Responses
The interviewees’ differences in race, age, and general status result in diverse family and cultural perceptions. For instance, the forty-five-year woman has a more defined role in her family. She contributes to the economic welfare while also attending to her children. She also acknowledges that women’s roles were less economic-oriented in the past. The upper social classes of the 18th and 19th centuries propagated the idea that women should not work outside their homes (NPS.gov, 2021). While the poorer women still worked, the norm remained a common perception of women even later. Meanwhile, the twenty-year-old has no major family-based roles. His family allows him to focus on his education, especially since he has just begun college.
Another key difference between the two respondents’ cultures is their perception of education. The Caucasian family sees education as one of several routes to success and accomplishment, while for the African-Americans, education is central to individual and family fulfillment. This outlook probably stems from the fact that ethnic-based disparities are widest at the lower educational levels (Sherman-Wilkins & Thierry, 2019). Hence, for the racial minorities, enhancing academic status improves the chances of having a decent life, with financial stability, social status, and access to healthcare resources.
The two cultures that the respondents represent also have a significant difference of opinion on medical practices and interventions. While both generally accept the scientific basis, the African-Americans have an inherent mistrust of the healthcare system. Perhaps this skepticism stems from a history of malpractice directed towards the community, such as the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study (Jaiswal, 2019). Furthermore, there have been no systematic attempts to repair this damage. Caucasians have hardly been on the receiving end of these malpractices, and hence they trust the healthcare system’s integrity more.
The two interviewees demonstrate similarities in most of their other responses, such as religious beliefs, spiritual perceptions of death and dying, and communication methods. While some variations still exist, the huge comparability is most likely due to cultural integration (Marilyn, 2016). The modern lifestyle allows culturally diverse people to interact closely, causing them to adopt parts of each other’s culture. For instance, both respondents state that alternative lifestyles are generally acceptable in the communities, which may not have always been the case. Thus, cross-cultural interactions have mediated the ethnic-based perception gap.
The difference in the respondents’ status and role affects their perception of culture and society. The older female interviewee has a bigger responsibility to her family and community and has more profound interpretations of cultural domains. Meanwhile, the younger respondent is still discovering his role. His perception of culture and relationships heavily depends on what the family structure has taught him. Therefore, his perceptions might change in the near future, as he interacts more with other cultures.
Jaiswal, J. (2019). Whose Responsibility Is It to Dismantle Medical Mistrust? Future Directions for Researchers and Health Care Providers. Behavioral medicine, 45(2), 188–196. https://doi.org/10.1080/08964289.2019.1630357
Marilyn, A. R. (2016). Transcultural caring dynamics in nursing and health care (2nd ed.). F.A. Davis Company.
NPS.gov. (2021, May 6). Developing the American Economy. https://www.nps.gov/subjects/womenshistory/developing-the-american-economy.htm
Sherman-Wilkins, K. J., & Thierry, A. D. (2019). Education as the Great Equalizer? Racial and Ethnic Differences in the Effect of Education on Cognitive Impairment in Later Life. Geriatrics, 4(3), 51. https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics4030051