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Ethnographic Interview: Taiwan Culture Experience 1 Ethnographic Interview: Taiwan Culture Experience Vntge Jayne Clark Atlanta University Communication Cultural Diversity, Professor Howell March 14, 2011 2 PRECONCEPTIONS Culture is defined as the traditions, customs, norms, beliefs, values and thought patterning passed down from generation to generation (Jandt 2010). The world consists of many different cultures.

In this Ethnographic Interview, I was given the opportunity to explore and learn more about a culture different from my own. Through observation I’ve have seen how people of different cultures differ from mines.For example, the type of foods a person eats can sometimes help you to identify their culture. I interviewed fellow classmate of mines, Ting Yan Yang, who was born in Taiwan. Before I initially interviewed my informant I researched the culture of Taiwan. I expected to learn a lot more about the Taiwan culture through my research and interview, because prior to this assignment I knew nothing about the culture.

However, I did have my preconception that in some way the Taiwan culture would be connected to the Chinese culture. This preconception was formed based upon my informer’s physical appearance.After research, my preconception proved to be fact. Taiwan’s population is mostly Han Chinese who was born on the mainland or have ancestors that were (Peggy 2009). My research overall gave me a very descriptive background of the Taiwan culture.

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The culture was described so vividly I could in some ways just picture it. Their value systems in some ways were similar to my own, so I could relate in a lot of ways. Most people in Taiwan have traditional values based on Confucian ethics; however, pressures from industrialization are now challenging these values.Still, some traditional values remain strong, including piety toward parents, ancestor worship, a strong emphasis on education and work, and the importance of “face. ” (Ming-teh 2006). INTERVIEW EXPERIENCE Before conducting this interview it was required to choose someone of a different culture from my own, and who has not been here for more than 10 years. Immediately one of my 3 classmates came to mind whom I felt I had socially interacted well enough to ask for a favor. I told him that this was a class assignment and describe his role in aiding me to complete it. I asked him how long he had been in America and he told me 8 years.He without hesitation agreed to be my informer. We sat up a date and time that which was suitable for the both of us. I offered to buy lunch at a local sushi restaurant, Chin Chin II, to compensate his time. Chin Chin II served the popular dish sushi, and from research I learned sushi was apart of the Taiwan culture. Sashimi (raw fish) and sushi are very popular in Taiwan (Ming-teh 2006). On the date of the interview I brought only a pad and pen with me. We choose a Saturday to meet up in the afternoon, 2pm to be precise. Before meeting, I previously drafted a couple of main questions I wanted to address.Although, some questions were created as the interview took place. I avoided any questions of ethnocentrism, judgments towards his actions and ways of thinking, and overly too personal. I was truly convinced any questions of these natures could not in any way give me a true definition of the Taiwan culture. I wanted my informer to feel free to describe his culture, his way, without restrictions. I arrived to the restaurant before my informer. I felt it was respectful for me to initially be there before him which could alter him waiting on me to arrive. When he arrived he greeted me with a handshake and a smile.In the Taiwan culture greetings are formal, and handshakes are the most common form of greeting (Williams 2007). Before conducting the research we ordered our food. He ordered a sushi dish titled Hama chi roll. Usually the only sushi dish I was confident in eating was the California roll but, I decided to order the same dish which I believe could in some ways enrich my Taiwan experience. My informer also ordered a cucumber salad. I was familiar with the cucumber salad because I had eaten it before and it found it to be a 4 tasteful salad. He also ordered lemonade to drink which so happened to be a common drink I ordered when I ate out.I knew right than we shared some similarities. While waiting for our food to arrive I started the interview off with some introductory background questions. His demeanor during the interview was very comfortable. I felt he was being very open and honest with his answers. Our conversations flowed very smoothly. I felt as if I was speaking to someone from a different culture from mines, but the way he expressed his perceptions and experiences were not foreign to me. Plainly, I could see how people all over the world could share the same dilemmas. INTERVIEW 1. What was your initial reason to move to the United States?I have heard that united States have the best education and the opportunity to do what I want. 2. Did anyone of your family members already stay in America before you moved here? My cousin’s whole family 3. If so what did they tell it would be like? They just told me the school is very easy over here in United States and people are interesting about the foreigner that about it 4. Before moving to North America did you have an idea of what you thought it would be like? I thought lifestyle would be interesting because I always have a fantasy about the America when I watch American movie, I thought it would be just like that. . Did any type of media via movies, television shows, and or any type of music influence you thoughts on how North America would be? Action movie and Hip Hop music. I love the action movie because they show the beauty of the United States. And hip hop music is very popular which assemble part of the United States culture. 6. How did you arrive to North America? (Airport, train, bus station etc)? Airplane 7. What was your experience like first arriving to America? I experienced somewhat of a culture shock. I was surprise the fact that Americans are friendlier and welcoming than I thought they would be. 8.What do you miss most about your original culture? I will have to say the food is what I miss the most from my culture. It is because the food in the united states just not the taste that I used to have. 5 9. Do you miss your homeland? Yes I do from time to time, however I have grown accustom to the United States. 10. Have you ever experienced racism and or discrimination towards you in any way while in America? Yes (he says Yes very aggressively) I have experienced both racism and discrimination 11. If so can you give me a brief description of one experience? When I first came here, people in the school were not very friendly.The school was predominately white. In class other students tend to make fun of me in any ways they could because I was different from them. I remember when I was eating, people came up to me and ask for the food in my plate and if I didn’t give it to them, they will create the rumor that make people keep distance with me. 11. What are some of your culture customs? (food, music, dances, rituals, etc) In the lunar Chinese New Year, each family comes together at once. The family will prepare the most luxurious food on the table, and all the dishes have to be finished. 12. Did you speak English prior to moving here?I barely understand the English language 13. If you didn’t speak English prior to moving here how did you learn the English language? Was it a difficult language to learn? I join all kinds of activities at school. And I join the sports team because I am a social person it was easier for me to make friends. When I first learned the language at first it is difficult but after a while, it became easier to understand and speak fluently.

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Ethnographic Interview Example. (2019, Dec 06). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/paper-on-essay-ethnographic-interview/

Ethnographic Interview Example
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