Part 2 Oral History Project: Summary of Interview and Selected Learning Resources (10% of total course grade)
Interview and Learning Resources Summary Requirements
In order to complete this assignment, you need to have completed your interview, decided on which Women’s Studies topics your report will cover, and identified supporting material in the learning resources.
See below for information on how to conduct your interview.
You can find a sample Interview and Learning Resources Summary at the bottom of this page. Please note that the Learning Resources cited in the sample summary may not be part of your WMST 200 class room. Choose resources assigned in your own section of WMST 200.
Your Interview and Learning Resources Summary includes the following two sections:
- A one-paragraph summary of your interview experience (40 points).
- introduce your subject in a sentence or two
- briefly discuss how the interview proceeded (you can expand this in your final essay; a couple of sentences are fine here)
- briefly present the major Women’s Studies topics you covered (you do not have to list everything that will appear in the final paper)
- A list of items from the learning resources you have identified which will provide supporting scholarly information for your discussion of the interview (60 points). Your list should include:
- three (3) acceptable items from the learning resources (18 points)
- For the purposes of this assignment, “an item” may be an entire learning resource, a section of a learning resource, or a direct quote from a learning resource.
- Stronger projects will select items from more than one learning resource, though three different quotes from the same highly-relevant learning resource meets the minimum requirements for this assignment.
- a brief summary under each item explaining how it will be useful for your essay (30 points).
- the APA style bibliographic citation for each item (12 points).
- Publication information for the Course Modules can be found here: Content > Course Resources > Read Me First > Development Credits
- APA Style
Conducting the Interview
You can conduct the interview in any medium (in person, on the phone/Skype, via email, etc.). It can also be done in multiple sessions or all at one sitting. You do need some way to record the interview so that you can quote from it. If you conduct it via email, you’ll have a print copy. If you do it in person, take plenty of notes, but also try to make a sound recording if possible so that you can find the exact responses.
You may design your interview questions however you wish, but keep the purpose of the project in mind. Tailor your questions to your specific interview subject and your own interests. You DO NOT have to use the questions below; these are just sample questions covering some of the major topics of the course: the history of the women’s movement, feminism, gender identity, women and work, women and politics, education, body politics (body image and media).
Suggestions for topics and questions:
- How has being female affected your life?
- What do you know about the history of the women’s movement? How do you think it has affected you?
- Do you consider yourself a feminist?
- What do you want your children to learn about women? About gender roles?
- How have your ideas about what it means to be a woman changed as you have gotten older?
- What do you think about the way female celebrities/movie stars/singers are portrayed?
- How did you feel about Hillary Clinton’s presidential run? About the first female four-star general?
- Is it any different being female in the United States than in your (your parents’) home country (if you’re interviewing someone from another country)?
- What do you feel are the most important issues for women (or for the women’s movement today)?
- Has being a woman affected your work life or career goals in any way?
- How is the housework/childcare divided in your home? Are you satisfied with this arrangement?
- What do you think about laws protecting women in the workplace and women’s access to education? Do we have too many? Not enough? If you could enact a new law to help women, what would it be?
Tips for the actual interview:
- Most people enjoy being taken seriously as interview subjects – choose someone you’re genuinely interested in learning more about.
- Explain why you are conducting the interview, and let the person know what to expect. You can even provide some of the questions ahead of time if you’d like to.
- Begin with easy questions that will make both of you comfortable and give you basic background information (name, age, where from, education, etc.).
- Create a list of at least ten questions you’d like to ask that cover a range of topics.
- Be willing to let the conversation take you away from those questions, and then redirect when you have a chance.
- Try to avoid questions that can be answered “yes” or “no;” instead, ask open-ended questions that require a lengthier response.
- Rather than: were you ever called a tomboy when you were growing up?
- Try: How did you see yourself when you were a child? Were you more of a “girly-girl” or a “tomboy?” Then you can follow up on the answer to this question: Why do you think you felt that way? Do you still think of yourself as more …
- Be sensitive to your subject’s reactions to a question; if she really doesn’t want to answer something, move on …
- … but, remember the purpose of the project, and be sure to cover the topics that are most important to you.
Sample Interview and Learning Resources Summary
I interviewed my friend, Sarah Martin. Ms. Martin is a 43-year-old divorced mother of an 8-year-old with autism and a financial planner. We conducted our interview over email and telephone. She was generous with her time, and provided thoughtful responses to my questions. She even provided follow-up answers when I asked for more information. Some of the major Women’s Studies topics we covered were family roles, motherhood, and work.
Learning resources summary:
- Adrienne Rich, “Claiming an Education:” This essay encourages women to “take responsibility” for themselves. It also will help me to explain the change in Ms. Martin’s attitude toward her own education and role in her marriage that led to her finally completing her college degree with a toddler and a deployed husband after many years of failing classes or dropping out of school.
- Rich, A. (Sept 6, 1979). Claiming an education. Speech given at Douglass College Convocation.
- “Motherhood” PowerPoint lecture: This lecture discusses the ways motherhood is idealized in our culture. I will use this powerpoint lecture to help explain why, as the mother of a young child, Ms. Martin found it difficult to step into the role of breadwinner after her ex-husband lost his job.
- Holberg, A. (2014). “Motherhood.” [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from https://learn.umgc.edu/d2l/le/content/348060/viewC…
- Course Module 4, Commentary Section I:“It is very difficult to change the imbalance in the division of housework because social roles are so predicated on household tasks. Men don’t feel masculine doing household tasks, and women often feel less feminine if they avoid them. … Many of the women felt that taking good care of their homes and families showed their love, and by extension made them truly womanly (Winkler, 2002).” This section discusses internalized gender roles and the traditional division of labor in the household. It also reflects many of the reasons that Ms. Martin gave for putting her education and career goals off during the first ten years of her marriage.
- Standish, R. (2008). The Conflict Between Housework and Paid Work. In Course Module 4: Women & Work. Retrieved from https://learn.umgc.edu/d2l/le/content/348060/viewC…
Well-written and clear. Meets the following criteria:
1. introduce your subject in a sentence or two
2. briefly discuss how the interview proceeded (you can expand this in your final essay; a couple of sentences are fine here)
3. briefly present the major Women’s Studies topics you covered (you do not have to list everything that will appear in the final paper)
Lists at least three items from the learning resources which will provide supporting scholarly information for your discussion of the article.
Summary of Learning Resources:
Under each of the three items in the list, provides a very brief summary of what you have found in that item that will be useful for your essay.
Proper APA reference provided for all 3 learning resources