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Gender, ethnicity and religion in spontaneous talk and ethnographic-style interviews: balancing perspectives of researcher and researched

Pichler, Pia. 2008. Gender, ethnicity and religion in spontaneous talk and ethnographic-style interviews: balancing perspectives of researcher and researched. In: K. Harrington; L. Litosseliti; H. Sauntson and J. Sunderland, eds. Language and Gender Research Methodologies. Houndmills, Baskingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 56-70. ISBN 0-230-55069-X [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

This chapter explores the potential insight that can be offered into the study of language and gender by complementing spontaneous conversational data with ethnographic-style interviews. I shall demonstrate that this combination of methods and data sources can create a dialogue between researcher and researched, which not only reveals and reflects the ‘tacit and articulated understandings of the participants in whatever processes and activities are being studied’ (Rampton et al 2004: 2), but also increases the researcher’s reflexivity about her ‘own cultural and interpretive capacities’ which play a significant role in the analysis and interpretation of linguistic and social practice (Rampton et al 2004: 3). This emphasis on the participants’ perspectives as well as on the researcher’s awareness of their own locatedness in the socio-cultural space, and, I would add, in a specific discipline of research, are central concerns of (linguistic) ethnography which offer a great potential to enrich language and gender studies.

A central question for my comparative analysis is whether interviews should be conceptualised as technique to obtain the interviewee’s ‘report on another reality’ (Silverman 1993: 106), or as a local accomplishment’ (ibid.), in which participants actively and collaboratively construct knowledge and meaning (Holstein and Gubrium 1997: 114). I shall also consider if there is a valid mid-position which combines insights from both approaches, as Miller and Glassner (1997: 99) claim. In order to answer this question I will analyse extracts from my interview data from a range of different methodological and theoretical perspectives, considering an ethnomethodological/CA, a reflexive, an interactionist and a realist approach to interviews.

Item Type:

Book Section

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature
Research Office > REF2014

Dates:

DateEvent
2008Published

Item ID:

6233

Date Deposited:

15 Nov 2011 11:44

Last Modified:

26 Jun 2017 09:54

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/6233

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