Interview Project in Cultural Anthropology (文化人類学) Class
Each student in the Cultural Anthropology class is now working on her Interview Project. For this project, each student must interview one person who is different from herself in some important way. For instance, a student who is not religious could interview someone who has deep religious beliefs. Or, a student who loves listening to music could interview someone who doesn’t feel that music is a very important part of her or his life. Or, a student who wants to get married and have children someday could interview a woman who is happy in her life without having any children. Each student decides her own topic.
The goal of the Interview Project is for each student to deeply understand the other person’s thoughts, beliefs, feelings, etc. about the topic. To deeply understand someone who is very different from yourself is not easy. Of course, listening to the person carefully is very important, but it is also necessary to ask good questions to that person. As teacher, I help students understand how to do a good research interview, including how to ask good questions, but each student must decide her own topic, prepare her own interview questions, find a suitable person to interview, do the interview by herself outside of class, and finally write a report about the interview.
Many of the students who do the Interview Project will be surprised—they will be surprised by something that the person told them in the interview, or maybe surprised by how their own thinking changed by doing the interview. Through the Interview Project, students in the class can learn about others, and about themselves as well.
Chris Oliver, Associate Professor, Department of English]]>