Contemporary Movements Interview & Response

The goal of this assignment is to extend your understanding by using these new tools and questions to
examine and engage others. To put course concepts and ideas to work, you will interview an older person/elder
in your life about how race and/or ethnicity, along with nationality, class, ability, age, etc. – have shaped this
person’s sense of self, their world, and their opportunities.
Your aim will be twofold:
To identify and describe two or three defining moments in your interviewee’s life; and,
To deploy relevant course concepts drawn from course texts and discussions in order to make sense of the
dynamics at play in these moments.
Conducting the Interview
The interview process is straightforward:
Explain that the interview is part of a course assignment whereby you are interested in how identity frames
experiences. Explain that you will ask the person to provide background information as an introduction. Then,
you will ask them to share 2-3 defining moments in their life. Explain that you may ask follow-up questions that
engage course concepts. Ask permission to record if you plan to do so, or take notes on your conversation, but
you may also share written questions to get their responses.
Some questions to consider:
How would you describe yourself? What parts of your identity are most important to you? Which parts of your
identity do people notice most often? Do others ever make assumptions about aspects of your identity? What
makes you similar or different to others you know? (in your neighborhood, at work, etc.)
Talk about 2-3 defining moments in your life. What social and/or historical contexts are important to understand
about these moments? What aspects of identity contribute to how you (or others) understand these moments?
(eg., nationality, ethnicity, race, gender, class, urban/rural upbringing, religious/political affiliations)

Sample Solution