Interview Project Reflection

Before doing each of the interviews, I had some preconceived notions about what the people I was interviewing were going to say, and I had already subconsciously predetermined how I thought the different interviewees were going to differ from each other. I think in some ways this was a drawback of how I conducted the interview process because when picking people to interview I had an idea of what I thought they were going to say to an extent or the perspective that I wanted them to specifically give me, instead of picking people who I would learn from (because of a unique perspective I have not experienced or been exposed to by other individuals) or be surprised by. All three of the interviewees were either college educated or currently in college, white, from Northern Virginia, and identified currently as upper-middle class. Furthermore, two of the interviewees were in their 20s (choosing to interview someone who was in their 50s was my attempt at getting a different perspective into the mix- but reflecting now I think I could have done this more effectively). I think that it would have been interesting to interview people who do not fit into all these categories because it would give a wider perspective on what people know about Capitalism and what they think about different things relating to Capitalism. While I was very interested to hear from the people that I interviewed, I did know them all personally, so I think that it would have been more interesting to broaden my scope and interview people that I knew more from an academic and/or professional environment that I was less familiar with. 

 I thought that the interviewees, especially CA and AL, would not agree on much of anything and I thought that JT would align more with CA than AL. However, while there are differences that I have discussed in the various interviews CA, AL, and JT do have some similarities in thoughts towards the subject of Capitalism. One of the biggest similarities that I did not discuss much during the interview posts, were the interviewees’ discussions on political alignment and their relationship with Capitalism as a result. All three of the interviewees backed up a large portion of what they believed in with a discussion of their political beliefs.For example, during  the first interview with AL, right from the beginning she discussed how she had a negative feeling towards Capitalism because of her liberal views and how Capitalistic ideals do not often match up with her views. CA also shared a similar sentiment, discussing how because he had conservitive political views related to the economy he supported a more Capitalistic 

JT did not express a correlation between his political views and opinions on Capitalism in as straightforward as a way as CA and AL did (he seemed more reserved on discussion of politics than the other two interviewees) but he did mention at one point during the interview that he was more conservative economically because he was worried about how his money was being impacted by the government. I think that it is really interesting how all three interviewees discussed political alignment in their discussion of Capitalism because that was not a discussion that we had during our class or a big concern throughout the books that we read for the class, but seemed to be of concern to the people that I was interviewing, and a concern to people that other students in the class interviewed. 

Another similarity that all three interviewees had was their concern about how different people are treated differently under Capitalism, and how it often hurts those who are economically disadvantaged. CA discussed how he was concerned about how those with “low-skilled labor” were being impacted by the Capitalist system because the system benefits those those with “high-skilled labor” more, and often rewards “high-skilled labor” with certain privileges. AL also discussed how the system makes it so that those who are not economically advantaged are often stuck in that low economic place and are not often able to get out. JT shared a similar opinion, and he discussed how there is often a poverty cycle under Capitalism. 

Out of the three interviews only one of the people seemed comfortable discussing Capitalism, while the other two seemed very intimidated by having to define what Capitalism was and its various attributes. CA was who seemed the most comfortable discussing Capitalism, and I think this is because he noted that he enjoys economics, has taken classes that discussed Capitalism, and has done personal research on it. Meanwhile, AL and JT specifically told me when I asked if I could interview them, that they were not very familiar with explaining Capitalism and did not feel like they knew enough to discuss it. I was very interested when they said this because I was intrigued to see how they would explain a topic that they did not feel like they could explain well. Both AL and JT  basically told me that they felt like their schooling did not prepare them to full understand or explain all the complexities of what Capitalism is and how it functions. Personally I felt very similar to AL and JT before taking this class, and still do in some ways. Capitalism is a very complex topic and can feel very intimidating to someone who has not received education on it or has done their own personal research. However, I think that it is a beneficial conversation to have and I have really enjoyed interviewing people on the topic and reading classmate’s interview posts. 

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