1. Your interviewee’s background/demographic information. For example: When and where were you born? Who comprised your family? Where did your family live? If you immigrated to the U.S., why did you come here? Where did you land? What type of work did people in your family do for a living? 2. Patterns and changing patterns in the family. For example: What was child rearing like in your family? How did it differ from today? What important lessons did parents teach their children? What kind of discipline was used with children? What was your schooling like? What were the major political and social events that happened during your lifetime? What sorts of technology did you use that we no longer use? How did your family support themselves? How did you spend your leisure time? What was courtship like? How did your interviewee meet his/her mate? What factors were important to them when selecting a mate? If married, when and whom did you marry? If children, how many? At what age? How were gender roles for women and men different than they are today? What were the most important family values to the older generations? 3. Essential beliefs and values of the interviewee. For example: What did success” mean? What was the hardest thing they had to face? What do they see as their greatest achievements? Is there anything they wish they had done differently? What advice would they want to give young people today? What was the most important thing they learned in their life?
Sociology of Family Writing Assignment Instructions – Family Interview
One goal of this course is to help you gain a greater understanding of, and perhaps appreciation for, your own families. To facilitate this goal, you are to interview one
senior family member who is at least one generation older than you (grandparents, great-grandparents, uncles, aunts, parents), and preferably more than one
generation older. This interview will become the basis of your Family Interview Paper, which will examine the changing dynamics of family in our culture – from an up-
close and personal perspective.
Your paper must:
• be three-four pages (body/text) long. Papers less than three pages will not be accepted for credit. Please number all pages.
• include your name (ONLY) on the upper left corner. Nothing else is necessary; don’t include my name, course name, no cover pages, etc.
• be typed (12 point font),
• double-spaced with 1 inch margins on all sides,
If you decide to use outside sources – incorporate quotations, facts that are not common knowledge, and/or ideas which are not your own – cite accordingly. A “ASA
Reference Format” doc is posted on Folio for you to follow.
Papers which do not include all of the above will automatically be downgraded by five points. Please edit your work carefully.
How to title/name your file for this assignment: Save your report in Word and use the following file-naming convention:
Family Interview_your-last-name.doc (Example: Family Interview_Noone.doc) Be sure to use the underscores as you see in this example.
How to Submit your Paper: When you have finished your assignment, you will upload/submit it in the Assessments area in folio (emailed assignments and/or non-Word assignments will not be
accepted). You may submit this assignment only one time.
1. Complete the assignment in a Word document. This assignment must be completed – only – in a Word format.
2. Under the Assessments dropdown button, click the Assignments link.
3. Click the “Writing Assignment Dropbox” button.
4. Click “Add A File,” then browse for the Word document that you have on your computer. Upload or drop your file in the designated space. Select your document and click “Open” so that it uploads to the Assessments area. Click “Done.” Your document will now appear below “Add A File.” Click “Submit.”
5. Your document will appear under “Submitted Files.” MAKE CERTAIN TO CONFIRM that it was submitted correctly by looking under “Submission Date,” where it will show the date and time stamp of your submitted document.
6. This Writing Assignment must be uploaded to the Writing Assignment Dropbox by 11:59pm EST, March 12, 2023.
** Because you have a number of weeks to complete this assignment know that assignments not submitted on or before the closing date/time earn no credit. **
Any papers that are unable to be opened, are “corrupted,” have the wrong draft or wrong paper submitted earn no credit (0).
Again, please double-check your submission to make sure that you have uploaded the correct document and version.
Now, for the Specific Instructions (please read through carefully):
One major research project is required in this course.
In this paper you will be conducting a mini-ethnographic study, so to speak. The project is meant as a vehicle for you to develop a more thorough understanding of the
changing nature of family in our culture – and, more specifically, in your own life. While this paper does not require extensive book research it will require a good deal of
time devoted to preparation, personal investigative study, reflection, and writing. The paper will be assessed both on content and structure/form, including grammar and
spelling. Be sure to proof-read your paper and seek help from the Writing Center if necessary.
First (Research): Interview one senior family member who is at least one generation older than you (grandparent, great-grandparent, uncle, aunt, parent).
Interview topics/questions should include (and others, as applicable to your family):
1. Your interviewee’s background/demographic information. For example:
When and where were you born?
Who comprised your family?
Where did your family live? If you immigrated to the U.S., why did you come here? Where did you land? What type of work did people in your family do for a living?
2. Patterns and changing patterns in the family. For example:
What was child rearing like in your family? How did it differ from today?
What important lessons did parents teach their children?
What kind of discipline was used with children?
What was your schooling like?
What were the major political and social events that happened during your lifetime?
What sorts of technology did you use that we no longer use?
How did your family support themselves?
How did you spend your leisure time?
What was courtship like?
How did your interviewee meet his/her mate? What factors were important to them when selecting a mate? If married, when and whom did you marry?
If children, how many? At what age?
How were gender roles for women and men different than they are today?
What were the most important family values to the older generations?
3. Essential beliefs and values of the interviewee. For example: What did success” mean?
What was the hardest thing they had to face?
What do they see as their greatest achievements?
Is there anything they wish they had done differently?
What advice would they want to give young people today?
What was the most important thing they learned in their life? And how do I actually write the paper? Next page, please…
Second (the Content and Structure of your Paper): Your field work/interview will be presented in the form of a three-four page paper narrative of the interview (not question-and-answer format), written in complete
sentences and paragraphs. Note that the subheadings/questions below are for reference; some may apply to your interview, others not. Feel free to add, delete, change
questions as necessary – this is your ethnography.
Your paper will consist of four sections, titled as below, and in this order:
I. Description of Methods,
II. Presentation of Information,
III. Theoretical Application
IV. Sociological Analysis
I. The Description of Methods section should state the topics investigated and the individual(s) interviewed. It should also include a description of the field site.
Think of this as the introduction for your paper.
Who did you interview? Age?
What is their relationship to you?
Where did the interview(s) take place?
Who was there at the time of the interview?
II. The Presentation of Information section gives the history, the story of the family member you interviewed, and presents the topic information listed above. This
is the main body of the paper.
Detailed anecdotes and information about individuals in your family.
This section should be detailed, fleshed-out, and supported by select exact quotes from your interview subjects.
III. Theoretical Application
Choose one of the sociological theories of family presented in lecture or the textbook to explain some aspect of your interviewee’s life and story. Describe the theory in
detail, assuming that your reader has never heard of this theory and knows nothing about it; I want to know that you really know and understand the theory and its
application to a real world situation (your interviewee’s narrative).
Overall, think of yourself as the theoretical expert, and explain the theory and its relevance to your interviewee to the reader.
IV. The Sociological Analysis section talks about your findings and conclusions, using your sociological insight. This is your conclusion.
What are the similarities and differences you see in the family and work lives of your relatives when they were young compared to people’s lives today? Do any of the
differences reflect changes in the family discussed in your course readings on the family?
What did you learn about your family that you did not previously know? What surprised you?
Do you think your family is similar to other American families? In what ways? If not, how do you explain the differences?
This section must include a very concise conclusion, which summarizes your paper and offers any additional commentary or insight.
Grading Criteria: I’m often asked, “How do I get 30 points on this assignment?” First, remember that 30 points is a perfect score, so to earn the full 30 points your paper would need to be
flawless. You will generally be assessed based on the effort that went into writing the interview (completeness, attention to detail), and the care and thought displayed in
the reflection of the narrative.
There are many elements that contribute to a paper earning a great score; an exceptional paper must include all of the following:
interesting and relevant details, words and phrases – provide specific examples and verbatim quotes where applicable
objectivity – the ability to critically and impartially assess your experiences
logical thinking and arguments
original thought You will be graded using the Writing Assignment Rubric on folio.
complete all sections posed in the assignment
no grammar or spelling errors
and, perhaps most importantly, be grounded in sociological theory and insight
*** A reminder: Plagiarism is a serious offense. ***
Any written work in this class is reviewed by .
Turnitin is a site that checks for plagiarism and generates an originality report that notes which parts of a paper appear unattributed to:
other student papers,
previous papers you have submitted,
You *may not* submit a paper – or any part of a paper – that you submitted for another class; this constitutes plagiarism as well.
Any incidence of academic dishonesty will result in an automatic zero (F) for the assignment, and will be reported to the Georgia Southern University Office of Student Conduct. Incidences of plagiarism may additionally result in a zero (F) for the entire course.
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