chapter  6
The Politics of Evidence
ByJanice M. Morse
Pages 14

Undoubtedly, interviewing people about their lives, opinions, and experiences and allowing them freedom of expression in telling their stories is a powerful method of understanding people's life worlds. To stay with Foucault's analytics, it seems reasonable to think of qualitative research interviewing as a central technology of the self in a postmodern consumerist culture, where nothing is or must remain hidden, and where selves are commodified conversational products. In the first case of the pollster, a receptive, nondirective practice is followed, where the implicit model of the interviewer resembles Carl Rogers, who developed client-centered therapy and nondirective interviewing in the 1940s. The utopian project of epistemic interviewing outlined above, however, has a more explicit emphasis on civic responsibility. Social science should serve the political community in the sense of engaging this community in conversations about ethical, political, and other normative issues.