Your Own Study
Sample Research Questions. Research begins with a question. At some point in a cross-cultural encounter, you may have been curious about why a person was acting in a particular way. This is the first step in posing a question to investigate.
These questions are general and can be particularly useful to ask when you want to find out about any one particular culture or cultural group because they do not make assumptions about what happens in all cultures. These questions are specific with regards to culture, time, and place. For instance, they can specify, how is personhood symbolized and lived in the United States in the 1970s? Therefore, the questions themselves are never completely answered because one continues to find new contexts within which to ask these questions.
Think about what puzzles you most about culture and pose a research question of your own.
After you pose the research question, take a look back at Hymes' units and decide which unit of analysis, from the speech community to the speech act is the best place to study this question. Then take another look at the S.P.E.A.K.I.N.G. model and decide which tool will help you to examine this question in the context you have pinpointed.