Rapport in three ethnographic studies of language and gender in private contexts

Pichler, Pia. 2018. 'Rapport in three ethnographic studies of language and gender in private contexts'. In: 11th BAAL Language, Gender and Sexuality SIG Event: Ethnographies of Language, Gender & Sexuality. Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom 26 April 2018. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

Building rapport between researcher and researched tends to be seen as essential to ethnographic research ‘even while the path to rapport seems always to have been fraught with difficulties, uncertainties, happenstance, ethical ambiguity, fear, and self-doubt’ (Marcus, 1989: 106). In this talk I will discuss the benefits and challenges of aiming for a close and trusting relationship between researcher and researched in language and gender studies of spontaneous talk in private contexts. On the basis of three of my own studies, including one study of young South London men, one of a multicultural teenage couple, and one of a group of adolescent Bangladeshi girls, I will show how close rapport can generate the kind of ethnographic insight which was central to my understanding of young speakers’ practices, identities and relationships. On the other hand, I will discuss some of the difficulties that a close and trusting relationship can bring when, for example, the researched challenge the interpretation of the researcher or request changes to the researcher’s work.

References: Marcus, George E (1989) Ethnography through thick and thin. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Talk)


ethnographic research, rapport

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature


26 April 2018Accepted

Event Location:

Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom

Date range:

26 April 2018

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Date Deposited:

04 Sep 2019 09:10

Last Modified:

04 Sep 2019 09:11



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