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Ethnicity and Race

Topic Area Interview Questions

Ethnicity and Race

If you interview someone who is a member of a racial or ethnic group different from your own, ask the following questions:

1. How do you identify yourself ethnically or racially? Explain why.
2. Do you recall when you first realized that you were a member of this group? Describe.
3. What do you think are commonly held misconceptions about your race/ethnicity?
4. What do you think are the benefits and disadvantages of membership in your race/ethnicity?
5. What do social workers need to know in order to be effective in assisting people of your race/ethnicity?

Gender Identity

If you interview someone who has a different gender than you, ask the following questions:

1. Do you recall when you first learned about your gender? If so, please describe how you felt and what you thought about it.
2. What, if anything, did your family/caretakers teach you about your gender?
3. What do you think are the benefits (or points of privilege) and disadvantages (or points of oppression) of being a member of your gender?
4. What do you think are commonly held misconceptions about your gender?
5. What do social workers need to know in order to effectively assist people in understanding their gender identity?

Sexual Identity

If you interview someone who is a non- heterosexual person (e.g., queer, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or same gender-loving person), ask the following questions:

1. When did you first become aware of your romantic/sexual feelings? How do you identify in relation to your sexual orientation? How long ago did you start identifying as [insert term used]?
2. How out are you? That is, to what extent do people know about your sexual identity? How did you decide to come out (or not come out)?
3. How did your family (if they know) react to the news of your sexual identity?
4. What has been the most difficult thing about being [insert term used in question 1]? What is the best part?
5. What do you think are commonly held misconceptions about non-heterosexual?
6. What do social workers need to know in order to be most helpful to non-heterosexual people?

Differently-abled
If you interview someone who is differently-abled, ask the following questions:

1. When did you first become aware that you were differently-abled? What was your reaction? What were the reactions of others?
2. How would you characterize society’s response to differently-abled persons?
3. What do you think are commonly held misconceptions about differently-abled persons?
4. What do you think are the benefits/disadvantages of being differently-abled?
5. What do social workers need to know to effectively work with persons who are differently-abled?

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