Discussion Lining Up Ducks

Open your favorite magazine or web magazine: Spin, Sports Illustrated, Ebony, Rolling Stone, Us, Seventeen. Which celebrity is being interviewed in the latest issue?

Turn on the television to a crime drama: CSI, Law and Order, or NCIS. See if you notice the cops or lawyers interviewing witnesses and suspects.

Even the Internet offers its version of the interview with IM and Chat rooms.

Interviews are a primary source that provides a unique perspective and level of interaction that other research lacks.Conducting a good interview is not as easy as it looks, though, which is why good interviewers make a lot of money.What those people know is that the secret to a good interview is in the preparation. In this activity, you are going to go face to face with someone in your life who is part of a unique subculture. Your goal is to focus the interview so you can dig up all the dirt you can on their subculture, using all you have learned about the aspects of cultures and subcultures.

First, find someone interesting who represents a subculture.

Once you have an interview subject in mind, follow these steps for preparing an interview:

Find a person to interview who represents a unique subculture. (Remember that a subculture is a specific, unique section of a larger culture.) Find the most interesting person with the most interesting story.

Schedule the interview using your best interactive skills; remember to be complimentary, gracious, and enthusiastic.

Step 3

Research the subject you will discuss and the person you will interview to get background for your interview (use your background knowledge, the Internet, the library, and your personal contacts to fill you in on your subject. What can you find out on your own about this subculture?) Keep notes and source cards so you can create a report later.

Step 4

Compose a set of research questions that are open-ended and focused. (Put them on note cards to use these cards during the actual interview.)

Step 5

Post a document to the Discussion: Lining Up Ducks that includes:

  • The name of the person and subculture(subject) of your interview
  • A list of 10 facts (your interview subject may not agree with these) about the subculture from your research—not the interview
  • A list of 5 facts (your interview subject may not agree with these either) about the person you will interview
  • A list of 5-10 open-ended, focused interview questions in the order you plan to present them
  • The date/time/location you will conduct your interview

Step 6

View at least 1 of the documents posted by your peers and evaluate his/her research questions for open-endedness, focus, style, and presentation using the 4 P’s of peer review (praise, probe, propose, be positive).

Step 7

Read the comments peers provide, and revise your questions before the interview.

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