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Postmodern Interviewing

Postmodern Interviewing

Edited by:

March 2003 | 280 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Interview roles are less clear than they once were, and in some cases, the roles are even exchanged to promote new opportunities for understanding the shape and evolution of selves and experience.

Postmodern Interviewing offers readers an exploration of the postmodern interview, a conversation with diverse purposes in which the communicative format is constructed as much within the interview conversation as it stems from predesignated research interests. It provides cutting-edge discussions of emerging horizons, featuring reflexivity, poetics, and power, along with discussions of new ways of gathering experiential knowledge. Employing concepts from anthropology, family studies, history, and sociology, the contributors present the ambitious new directions in which the interview has gone, such as:

  • How the interview process is refracted through the lens of language, knowledge, culture, and difference
  • How the dividing line between fact and fiction is blurred to promote richer understanding
  • How standardized representation has given way to representational invention

By exploring these exciting developments, readers will be exposed to the engaging opportunities for understanding the shape and evolution of selves and social worlds that are made possible through changes in the interview process.

This volume is comprised of chapters from the Handbook of Interview Research (Gubrium and Holstein, SAGE, 2001). The companion volume, Inside Interviewing (SAGE, 2003), is also comprised of chapters from the Handbook.

Jaber F. Gubrium and James A. Holstein
Ch. 1. Postmodern Sensibilities
Jaber F. Gubrium and James A. Holstein
Ch. 2. From the Individual Interview to the Interview Society
Andrea Fontana
Ch. 3. Postmodern Trends in Interviewing
James A. Holstein and Jaber F. Gubrium
Ch. 4. Active Interviewing
Chris Mann and Fiona Stewart
Ch. 5. Internet Interviewing
Paul Atkinson and Amanda Coffey
Ch. 6. Revisiting the Relationship Between Participant Observation and Interviewing
Kirin Narayan and Kenneth M. George
Ch. 7. Personal and Folk Narrative as Cultural Representation
Norman K. Denzin
Ch. 8. The Cinematic Society and the Reflexive Interview
Carolyn Ellis and Leigh Berger
Ch. 9. Their Story/My Story/Our Story: Including the Researcher's Experience in Interview Research
Laurel Richardson
Ch. 10. Poetic Representation of Interviews
Richard Cándida Smith
Ch. 11. Analytic Strategies for Oral History Interviews
Paul C. Rosenblatt
Ch. 12. Interviewing at the Border of Fact and Fiction
Charles L. Briggs
Ch. 13. Interviewing, Power/Knowledge, and Social Inequality

It is a great collection of texts on a postmodern view of interviewing, essential for anyone interested in a more reflective understanding of interviewing in qualitative research. Especially the essay on the interview society by Gubrium and Holstein is key for making students reflect on the role of the interview for contemporary societies and in the fashioning of (post)modern subjectivity. The chapter by Atkinson and Coffey is essential for understanding the relationship between interviewing and participant observation, and key for countering more naturalistic understandings of participant observaton that are often at the root of a priviliging of participant observation as method in parts of ethnographically oriented social research. Both texts are required reading in the course.

Dr Michael Penkler
Social Science , University of Vienna
August 25, 2016

I find this book extremely useful in making an attempt to understand in general the term 'postmodern' especially when interviews are used as a research instrument. I really liked chapter 3 where the postmodern trends in interviewing were discussed mentioning feminism, phenomenology etc.

Ms Eva Mikuska
Childhood Studies (Bishop Otter), Chichester University
January 6, 2014

I find this book extremely useful in adressing postmodern interviewing issues.

Ms Charlotte Grum
Dept of Psychology & Educational Studs, University of Roskilde
April 10, 2013

Detailed analysis on postmodern perspectives of research when engaging in interviews during research. Offers a particularly valuable discussion on the role of the researcher within the interview process.

Mrs Monica Donlon
Education and Applied Social Sciences, Stockport College
November 2, 2012

This is a good text for students to learn the interview process and how to divide the line between fact and fiction

Ms Cristina Jonsson
Management , The University of the West Indies
July 26, 2010

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