Immigrant Ethnography

Immigration is the movement of people across international boundaries with the intention of becoming residents or citizens. Immigration has profound influence upon the cultures of both sending and receiving communities. The aim of this assignment is to identify and document the major cultural changes that immigrants face. First, identify an immigrant to/from the US (or another country) who is willing to spend about an hour having a long conversation with you and who is candid about sharing the details of their personal life. Remember the issues of rapport and trust discussed in week two. Make a formal agreement regarding whether or not you will use the informant’s real name and identity or use a pseudonym (make pseudonyms respectful!) Also, inform them that the information will be used to write a paper (or produce a video or audio recording) for your class. The general question that you must answer is, “How did the person’s experience as an immigrant change some aspect of their culture?” Choose one cultural domain that we have covered in this course to focus your dialogue. This could be work, art and expression, religious ideas, language, reproduction, kinship, or political participation. Before the interview, prepare 5 specific questions on this topic that you aim to answer. These questions will structure your overall interview but most of your interview will consist of follow up questions to get the interesting contextual stories for each of the questions. How you record the interview depends on what you choose to turn in. I would suggest using a cell phone audio recorder, tape recorder, digital audio recorder or video depending on whether you choose to turn in a paper, an edited video or an audio recording. (Various recording technology is available for use from Classroom Services in Haggard Hall 114 http://west.wwu.edutatus/classrooms/classroom_equipment.shtml) The options for what you will produce from this interview are: 1) a 2-3 page single spaced essay summarizing your findings using extensive quotation of the informant’s words, OR 2) a ten minute edited audio or video recording of the highlights of the interview, focusing on the most informative comments that answer your questions. If producing a paper turn it in electronically via the Assignment feature. Digital media can also be attached in Canvas but make sure that the format is one I can read (to do this, email the TA once your file has been submitted).




Sample Solutions