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Ethnographic Interview Questions
Submitted to Professor Brandon Cox
in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the completion of
GLST 290
Cultural Anthropology
Ablessing F. King
November 22, 2021
GLST 290
Tell me about your life in Colorado/Southwest. How long did you live in the Southwest?
Miriam lived in the Southwest all the way until she was 18 and joined the Army. She was born in
California, moved to Colorado, spent a short time in New Mexico, which she then came back to
Colorado and stayed.
The Southwest is known for its outdoor recreation, are you an outdoors person because of
your upbringing?
The Southwest, especially Colorado, is known for its hiking trails. Miriam enjoys hiking because
of her life in the Southwest. Fishing and hunting are like a tradition in her family.
It is said that those who live in the Southwest are chilled and relaxed; how would you
describe your persona?
The Southwest is said to house a lot of hippies. Miriam says she takes on the hippie style but
when it comes to her thinking and decisions she isn’t carefree because of her growing up in a
family that was structured.
What does your family believe about God? Tell me about your family’s religious
practices & their beliefs about God.
Miriam’s family practices Protestantism. Growing up her grandfather was a preacher and gave
her the choice of finding her own religion. Doing so allowed her to find her own understanding
and beliefs within Christianity.
GLST 290
What are your general beliefs about humanity and God?
She is a Christian and believes God is our Lord and Savior. She doesn’t look down or think
negatively of other religions. She doesn’t believe in judging others; she believes that ultimately
no matter what religion you are God will give you a choice whether or not to accept Him when
your time is up on this Earth.
With your mixed cultural background, did you and your family lean towards one of the
traditions more than the other? (What was it like having 2 parents with different cultures
and backgrounds? Were there conflicts in how to handle different situations in your
Miriam is Filipino and Hispanic. Her family would intertwine the traditions of both her
nationalities. On Christmas they would have the traditional turkey and ham but with eggrolls and
pancit; on Christmas Eve they would have enchiladas and empanadas. Some conflicts that
emerged were how Americanized her mother became. Miriam’s dad married the wrong Asian”
meaning he wanted a quiet and docile wife which is the opposite of her mom. She became
mouthy and tough which was the opposite of what he wanted. This became an issue which led to
their divorce.
Did the community promote selflessness and working as a collective or independence and
autonomy? Can you provide an example in which this was exhibited?
The community Miriam grew up in were promoted both. She said they would help you when you
needed but also believed that you needed to be independent in some situations. For example, if
GLST 290
you were having a bad time the community would come together and help you by watching your
kids or
Are the people in your community direct (clear, tell others what to do) or indirect
communicators (quietly observe, suggestive)? How would you say this impacts cohesion?
In the Southwest, they are direct communicators but are friendly. So, when they speak directly
it’s never with malice. In the small town that she grew up in an elder can say something to you
and you had to listen to what they said.
What was your family dynamic growing up? What relationships are most valued?
The family as a whole is valued. All of Miriam’s aunts and uncles on her dad side were
considered her immediate family. Her family is very close in ways like a cousin being seen more
as a sibling. They do family activities when they are all together a lot such as going bowling,
fishing, and hunting.
What role does the family play in the selection of a spouse and raising children?
There is no general role in her family. Her mom is the one she talks to about everything and was
the one who she would talk to about her spouse. Her family helped when she would need
someone to babysit. For example, her mom and aunt would fly out when she would have to do
training with the military.
How have your own beliefs and practices impacted your interactions with other cultures?
GLST 290
Her grandfather allowing her to find her own beliefs allowed her to be more open and accepting
of others and their beliefs.
How does your communication practices impact your ability to communicate with people
from other cultures? How have you resolved conflicts with people from other cultures?
Miriam believes that when there is conflict to find where you agree first and then try to have a
conversation from there. She says the United States is Not a melting pot but a tossed salad”
meaning that we all are different and have our qualities but that’s what makes us who we are.
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