Since I am Chinese, so i prefer the life course interview story (fact) to be more like Chinese culture because the target somewhat a person have a relationship with the interviewer. Detailed guideline is provided below. If you have any questions, please email me or contact me asap :).


To interview an older individual and conduct a sociological analysis of how the individual’s past family life and current attitudes toward family life were influenced by the historical time in which he or she grew up. For this project, you should make use of the Life Course Perspective from the course. This assignment may have more meaning to you if you interview an older family member, however, you may find it more interesting to choose to interview an unrelated older person.

The paper should be no longer than five pages, double-spaced, in length. References from the text and/or reader are sufficient.

The life-course perspective views personal experiences through the prism of history to better understand why one generation differs from another. The unique historical experiences of older people have made them who they are today. The forces of history include all encompassing cataclysmic events such as foreign wars (WWII) or economic crises (the Great Depression), as well as more particular occurrences such as the immigration experience and the social conditions that existed while growing up. Your assignment is to elicit stories from your subject that reflect on his or her earlier family life and how those experiences influenced attitudes toward family life today. While the subject will provide you with their memories and opinions, feel free to guide the discussion as well, remembering that not all historical events will be relevant. The conversation with your subject represents your data that will be organized, analyzed, and interpreted along the lines listed below.

Ethical Issues
The identity of your subject and the information he or she provides in the interview should be kept absolutely confidential–even if the person is a family member. Whatever transpires between you and those you interview should remain private from other familymembers and your peers. Please respect and protect the confidentiality of the people you interview. In your paper, please refer to your interviewees by a fictitious name or initials only.

You do not need to tape your interview, but if you choose to do so, be sure you get the permission of the subject, keep the tape confidential, and erase/destroy the tape after completing this assignment. Suggested interview questions are provided below. You may do your interview over the telephone, but this is generally not preferred. Interviews will naturally vary in length depending on the subject, but it is expected that one hour will be more than sufficient.

The most provoking questions may be those that ask your subject to remember what family life was like when they were your age and how this differs from the present. You may want to introduce a topic that can provide a way for them to be specific in their responses, such as asking them about contemporary issues of gay marriage, single-parenting etc. and how their attitudes were shaped (positively or negatively) by their past experiences. Note that it is fine if your subject experienced family life primarily outside the U.S.

Your written paper of the interviews should have the following sections:

Introduction: Discuss the general purpose and goals of the paper (<1 page)

Method: Introduce the subject, their background, relationship to you, how you approached them, how long you interviewed them, what you generally asked them (1 page)

Results: Identify themes that appear in the subject’s narrative that relate to their past family life. Discuss how their past experiences have influenced their current attitudes and behaviors related to family life. Use quotes where appropriate. (2-3 pages)

Conclusion: Conclude what you learned from this interview of an older adult in terms of gaining a historical understanding of families (<1 page)

You will need to carefully organize your paper and express your ideas succinctly. You should cite materials from the text or reader.

Life Course Interview and Suggested Topics and Questions


· Gender, ethnicity, current age

· Past and current marital status

· Number of children

· Where did you grow up?


· Who raised you? What kind of childhood did you have?

· Did you live with grandparents or other extended family members when you were growing up? If so, why?

· What did you think you might be when you grew up? How was this related to what your family wanted you to be?


· At what age did you get married? Did you feel this was the right age to get married?

· Did you/your spouse work outside the home after you were married?

· Did you ever have a hard time making it financially? What did you do to get by during

those times?

· Did you ever get divorced? (If yes, did you remarry),

· If you could do it over again, would you have done things differently about marriage and children?


· Are there any family traditions or ways of doing things that you try to make sure your children and/or grandchildren know about?

· Overall, what would you say were the hardest times in your life? How was your familyinvolved?

· Overall, what would you say were the best times in your life? How was your familyinvolved?

· What do you think younger people should know about the time when you grew up?

· What do you think are the main challenges facing families today?

· How do these challenges differ from when you were growing up and having a family?

· Is there anything else you’d like to share?