In order to understand the ways that conceptions of normality change across generations, you will conduct an in-depth interview with one person who is at least 65 years old. A suggested list of questions is presented below. These questions should provide you with sufficient guidelines for your conversation. You need not ask every question listed. You should feel free to tailor the interview in such a way that you capture the experiences and information that are most pertinent to your subject’s life. It’s fine to interview someone who doesn’t speak English, but you must translate all responses and ensure that the final paper is submitted fully in English.
Your interviewing will be most effective if you tape record the interaction. It is not mandatory that you tape the interview, however. You are not expected to have full quotations in your paper. The limitations of simply taking notes are that you might lose important information and that you might not be able to concentrate on the information being conveyed during the interview.
The paper will have three parts. The first part is an introduction, which provides the background for your analysis. In this section, you will provide a brief and general discussion of how conceptions of normality change across different generations and subgroups. The second part of the paper is your biography, or case study. Here, you will write the life history of your subject. The third part of the paper is your analysis and discussion; this is the most important part of the paper. Here, you will discuss and interpret your subject’s conceptions of normality. Are they more similar or different than your own conceptions? What accounts for any differences that you see? In particular, given the information you acquired in your interview, what have you learned about how age-based norms change over time? How have these norms changed from your subject’s life time to your life time? How might your subject’s life experiences be different if he or she was growing up today?


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