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Goldsmiths - University of London

Reflections on Interviewing Women MPs

Puwar, Nirmal. 1997. Reflections on Interviewing Women MPs. Sociological Research Online, 2(1), ISSN 13607804 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This paper reflects on the recent experience of interviewing women MPs. The research process is analyzed in terms of the micro-politics of the relationship between the researcher and the researched. Relevant methodological debates from two areas of sociology which are rarely brought together have been incorporated. Elite Studies and Gender Studies. Both of these fields have discussed the politics of space within the process of interviewing. However, the research experience of interviewing female MPs does not neatly fit in with the descriptions of interviewing to be found in either of these fields. This paper will discuss how the experience meets, criss-crosses and contradicts research reflections that are to be found in both of the above fields. So at times my experience echoed Ann Oakley's description of interviewing women as a cosy, friendly and sisterly exchange of information (Oakley, 1982: p. 55). Whilst at other times I could relate to Stephen Ball's description of interviews with MPs as '...events of struggle, as a complex interplay of dominance/resistance and chaos/freedom.' (Ball, 1994: p. 113). Often the same interview shifted between these two types of scenarios. After a short introduction to the debates on space and power within Elite Studies and Gender Studies this paper will go on to detail some of the complexities of interviewing women MPs for a feminist project.

Item Type: Article

Keywords:

women, mp, micro-politics, researcher, researched, sociology, methodology, interview, space, power, gender

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology

Dates:

DateEvent
31 March 1997Published

Item ID:

2212

Date Deposited:

28 May 2009 10:44

Last Modified:

07 Jul 2017 12:17

URI: http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/2212
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