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A Neighborhood That Never ChangesGentrification, Social Preservation, and the Search for Authenticity$

Japonica Brown-Saracino

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226076621

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226076645.001.0001

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(p.278) Appendix 2: Interview Guide

(p.278) Appendix 2: Interview Guide

A Neighborhood That Never Changes
University of Chicago Press

Personal Background

  • What do you do for a living?

  • How long have you been in that occupation?

  • Did you always plan to enter that occupation?

  • Do you belong to or regularly attend a church?

  • If so, which church? How frequently do you attend? How long have you belonged?

  • If not, have you ever (including as a child)?

  • What year were you born?

  • Tell me about your family. What did your parents do for a living? Did you live near extended family? How many siblings do you have?

  • What is your highest level of education?

  • Are you married/do you have a partner?

  • If so, how long have you been together?

  • Do you have children?

  • If not, do you plan to have children?

  • As a child, where did you reside?

  • Do you remember, during your childhood, where you imagined living as an adult?

Residential Patterns

  • How long have you lived in the neighborhood/town?

  • Where did you live before then [ask for full residential history]?

  • Tell me about your decision to move to the neighborhood/town.

  • What was your initial reaction to the neighborhood?

  • How is the town/neighborhood different from other places you have lived?

  • What qualities of the neighborhood/town do you most enjoy?

  • Aesthetic?

  • Social?

  • Political?

  • Cultural?

  • What qualities of the neighborhood/town would you like to see change?

  • How long do you imagine you'll live here?

  • (p.279) [If intends to stay:] Is there anything that would change your intention to stay?

  • [If intends to leave:] Is there anything that would encourage you to stay?

  • How likely do you think it is that your mind could be changed?

Neighborhood/Town Change

  • How has the town/neighborhood changed in the time you have lived here?

  • How do you feel about those changes?

  • Tell me about how others talk about those changes.

  • What is the best change you have witnessed?

  • What is the worst change you have witnessed?

  • What are your greatest concerns regarding the future of the neighborhood/town?

  • If you could freeze the town/neighborhood in a particular time, which period would you choose?

  • Why?

  • Would you freeze the whole country/world in that moment or just the town/neighborhood?

  • Why might other neighborhood/town residents agree or disagree with the time period you selected?

Political Values

[Introduce topics of local election or political issue (e.g., school referendum, new condominium development, election of alderman, streetscape). Ask for opinion on those issues. Ask how others they know fall on the issues.]

  • Are you a registered voter?

  • With which party do you tend to vote?

  • Do most of your friends and family vote the same way that you do?

  • Do you belong to, or donate to, any national, state, or city political groups such as the NRA, NOW, etc.?

  • Which national or regional political issue do you feel strongly about?

Civic Engagement

  • Do you currently belong, or have you ever belonged, to any local civic groups?

  • Cultural groups (e.g., chorus, book club)?

  • Local or extralocal?

  • Religious or spiritual institutions or groups?

  • Local or extralocal?

  • Block clubs?

  • Chamber of Commerce?

  • Do you currently participate, or have you ever participated, in town/neighborhood politics?

  • Elected or voluntary positions?

  • Do you currently volunteer, or have you ever volunteered?

  • If so, do you volunteer in the neighborhood or town?

  • If not, have you ever?

  • Which neighborhood/town residents participate in …

  • Cultural groups?

  • (p.280) Religious groups?

  • Block clubs?

  • Politics?

  • Voluntary work?

  • Within those groups, who holds the leadership roles?

  • Has that changed over time?

  • Have you stopped participating, or recently started participating, in any of the above?

  • If so, why?

Social Networks

  • Do you socialize on a regular basis?

  • With whom do you socialize?

  • Where do you socialize?

  • Where do the people you associate with live?

  • Are you close to neighbors or others who reside in the neighborhood/town?

  • How frequently do you interact with them?

  • How did you meet most of your friends? (If prompting is needed, ask about school, work, church, civic groups, family, etc.).

  • Are you content with your social circle/friendships?

  • What would you change about your social circle/friendships?

  • [If have children:] Are you content with your children's social circle? What would you change about it?

  • [For newcomers:] Was it easy to make friends when you moved here?

  • [For old-timers:] Is it easy to make friends with newcomers?

  • Have any of your neighborhood friends or acquaintances moved away?

  • If so, do you know why they did so?

  • Do you know of any other residents who have moved away and why they did so?

  • How would you describe the local community?

  • What do you call your place of residence when referring to it in conversation with nonresidents?

  • How do you describe it to friends and/or family members who do not live here?

Cultural Tastes (Questions for Newcomers)

  • Tell me about the books you read [ask for both nonfiction and fiction].

  • What books are you reading now?

  • What newspapers or newsmagazines do you read?

  • Which do you subscribe to or read online daily?

  • Do you watch movies either in the theater or at home?

  • Tell me about the movies you watch.

  • What was the last movie you watched?

  • What is your favorite movie?

  • Tell me about the television you watch.

  • What is your favorite television program?

  • Do you vacation? If so, where do you do so? If not currently, have you ever?

  • What is the place you would most like to visit?