Each interview takes approximately one hour, though participants vary and are encouraged to answer only what they wish.
While I encourage all interviewees to speak to what comes to mind or what they would like to be used for the project, I use a standard list of questions to start the conversation and inspire thought. Standard questions are also important to achieving a cohesive narrative as well as good practice in comparative ethnography.
Technology is defined in this project as any machinery or equipment developed by the application of scientific knowledge, and includes the car, television, radio, space travel, computers, etc.
- What is your full name?
- What is your current address (so I can send you a Thank You letter)?
- When were you born?
- Where were you born?
- Where have you lived?
- What was your childhood like?
- What was your favorite pastime?
- What has changed since then?
- What occupations have you held?
- How has technology affected you?
- How do you think technology is affecting us?
- How do you think it’s affecting our youth?
- What have we lost to technology?
- What have we gained? -or- What are you excited about?
- Is there anything else do you think people should know / would you like to say?
With any project that requests access to the private lives of people, and their likeness, a release for use of knowledge and understanding is necessary. The below release is read to each participant before the interview begins, and includes rights, use of information, and parameters of the project.
You are taking part in a research project about the experience of the Silent Generation, the history of this country, and how technology has affected us all. This interview will be conducted orally via thirteen questions, and a photograph of you will be taken after to represent your story visually.
The recording of your interview and photograph(s) of you will be archived for use in this project. Each story will parsed down into a couple summarizing paragraphs with some use of audio quotation. I am happy to provide you with any materials I collect today.
This project collects personal identifying information about you. I am bound to respect your wishes to have your identity acknowledged or kept confidential.
By participating in this project, some aspects of your life may be published online or in the final book.
The benefit of participating in this project is two fold: a) your history is recorded for future generations and your family b) your perspective of the unfolding technology and how it affects our culture will have a wide impact.
Your photograph may be reviewed after it has been taken.
You will be given the final URL of you interview and may review it at any time.
You may opt out of the project at any time, and request any materials about you be destroyed.
You may choose not to answer any question I ask, and also may elaborate on any topic you feel relevant.
You will be asked for your address during the interview. Your address will be used ONLY for follow-up from me. You will be mailed information about the project, how to reach me, and what of your interview has been used.
You will be left with my card today so you can contact me if need be.