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The goal of this project is to see how culture and socio-economic status influences aging. There are three parts to this project, 1) interview two older individuals of different ethnic/religious/socio-economic backgrounds about their cultural/socio-economic life histories and experiences; 2) discuss, within a small-group setting (I will assign groups preliminary findings 3) Write roughly a 4-page paper that talks about your interviewee’s experiences and what you learned from both them and your group. You will have 2 weeks to complete this project.
Before you start your interviews, make sure you read through and understand the information in the Culture and Aging PowerPoint before starting this project.
Your interviews will be semi-structured (asking the interviewees the same questions allowing room for adding questions specifically pertaining to the interviewee) and qualitatively based (open-ended, not answered using a number as in Likert Scaling). You will devise a set of questions that uses the information on culture found in the PPT. The interviews should be extensive, finding out as much as you can about the person’s personal cultural history and their lives today as they relate to their culture. Make sure you let the people know that it is for a class project and will not be published, that only your teacher will see the interviews, and that their real names will not be used.
Your interviewees should be roughly the same age, gender and sexuality to limit possible confounds (non-cultural or socio-economic factors that could influence the individual’s experience). Each person should have a different cultural/socio-economic background.
Your group work will entail using your interviewees’ experiences to compare/contrast with other interviewees that students within your group interviewed. When in your group, you will look for similarities, differences, patterns within each of your group member’s interviewee’s experiences. You will also talk about possible reasons that there were these similarities, differences, and/or patterns. You will report on what you learned from your interviewees and from your group discussion to the class discussion board.
Your paper will be formatted following these guidelines:
Introduction – explain the nature of the study
Case profiles as related to information in the PPT and with possible connections to researched, peer-reviewed journal articles:
basic background information about the person (current age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, language spoken, socioeconomic class –change the person’s name or use only first name…)
cultural history (where s/he grew up, religious upbringing, language(s) spoken, experiences …)
Cultural lives today (Is it similar to the way the grew up? Why or why not? How is it different/the same? Experiences…)
Do not reiterate the interviews word-for-word, summarize what the people said and use pertinent quotes from them to exemplify your ideas.
Findings and analysis: summarize your findings (from both your own interviews and from what you learned from your group discussions) and relate them back to the PPT and at least 2 peer-reviewed journal articles. You are welcome to use other resources (e.g. videos, blogs, websites…), but you must have at least the 2 journal articles.
Conclusion and reflection – discuss what you learned by doing this project and any final thoughts.
You will be graded on the following:
The group work (10%):
Grading of the group work will assess not only the amount that you participated in your group discussions, but in the quality of your input. I will also look at whether you contributed to the class discussion.
The paper (10%):
Thorough and comprehensive: did you cover all the information requested? Did you find out a lot of information from each person that will provide a good understanding of their personal cultural histories?
Use and application of cultural terminology and ideas from the PPT: did you use the terms and concepts from the PPT?
Incorporation of additional research: did you support your ideas and findings with relevant research? Were there at least 2 peer-reviewed journal articles used?
Solid compare and contrast section: did you offer possible explanations for why there were similarities or differences between cases?
Writing: Is it organized well using the sections above and separating ideas with paragraphs? Is it free of spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors? Is the writing clear? Are articles, websites… correctly referenced and cited?

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