DOI link for Interviewing Bodies
Interviewing Bodies book
This chapter talks about interviews that are conducted via telephone, the Internet, or smart phones using teleconference software, instant messaging, email, or specialized apps. Qualitative social scientists have long rejected the mechanistic view of interviews as an extraction of information by a neutral, expert researcher from a vessel-like subject. Qualitative studies tend to emphasize what participants said as the basis of meaning and incorporate little or no explicit attention nonverbal communication within their conventionally reported findings. The setting of the interview is entangled with the meanings co-constructed throughout the interaction. The context of participants' bodies during an interview is important to the meanings constructed, not just incidental. Telephone interviews may even be considered participant-centered as they can enable more comfortable, and potentially more honest, disclosure of sensitive or stigmatized information without the intensity of face-to-face interaction, especially as people become more accustomed to online communication.