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Anthropology Interview

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Questions: 1. What is your history? What is your home of origin? Why did you/your family settle in _____? 2. What are some of your family customs and roles of members within your family? What is your role in your family? 3. How closely do you identify with and affiliate with your culture? 4. What religious or spiritual beliefs are influential in your culture and for your family? 5. What would be the characteristics and practices of people who are Muslim? 6. What are the similarities/differences between Christians and Muslims? 7. Who are the power structures in your family? Is age a factor in who has power? How are decisions made at the family and community level? 8. How can you communicate effectively in your culture? Consider the meaning of tone of voice, gestures, eye-contact, overall body language, terminology used to describe health, face-saving behaviors. 9. Identify and verify customs, beliefs, and practices that might be misinterpreted by established institutions within your community e.g. schools, law enforcement, social services, health care providers (this includes such beliefs around certain body parts such as the head, male and female circumcision, cutting or puncturing the skin, transfusions, autopsies) ...read more.


They seemed trivial, cursory, or too broad. I felt nervous about beginning, because there was so much to ask. However, I jumped in and he seemed ready to begin. I told him what kinds of questions I would be asking, explained the project a little, and began with my first question about this family. We both seemed to become more comfortable nearly right away. Though my intent was to find out about the Muslim faith, I began by asking Rasheed about his upbringing, his family, and his decision to come to the U.S. in order to also find out about his culture. I also asked a few questions that would help me determine his level of acculturation. His suggestion that he was surprised how much people in the U.S. drink on a daily basis led me to believe that he was more aware of the college scene than general society. I found that we had both similarities and differences in our faiths and cultures. As for differences, Rasheed shared the dedicated prayer life of Muslims who pray five specific times throughout each day. ...read more.


In turn, I gained confidence in working with clients who might be very different than clients I have worked with in the past. Having said this, I realize that one of the most important ways this assignment should affect me is in knowing that this is just one Muslim's view, and one Muslim's way of relating. As we have heard so many times in class, there are differences amongst persons of any specific culture. What I have learned is a step toward learning more. I will continue to grow, and must seek to learn more should I counsel a client from this faith. I was amazed by the open and honest exchange we were able to have so readily. Rasheed spoke straightforwardly about his faith without knowing much about where I stood except that I was curious about his faith. I tried to ask questions in a way I might ask a future client: invitingly, respectfully, and openly. In turn, he felt comfortable asking me about my faith, as well. This amazing connection confirmed my desire to counsel persons of nationalities and cultural backgrounds. After this experience, I feel even more confident in my ability to respectfully, openly, and non-threateningly establish working relationships in counseling persons of cultures and faiths that are radically different than mine. ...read more.

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