Questions of context: Qualitative interviews as a source of knowledge

Tim Rapley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter examines how both interviewers and interviewees work to locally manage their identities, talk and interaction. The chapter focuses on the local context of the interview interaction, with the broader contexts of the knowledge producing machine, like recruitment interactions and data analysis practices. Potter and Hepburn's work in which researchers from various psychological, sociological and anthropological traditions focused explicitly on relatively fine grained analysis of interactional practices in qualitative interviews. Potter and Hepburn position the interview within contemporary psychological work and explore the critiques. They where seeking to stimulate a direction of debate and research that explores the interactional conduct of interviews. Interview questions are routinely embedded with social science theorizing. There is a contrast between interviewers' reports on social processes and observing the organization of social processes in action. Wendy Hollway focused on the work of subjectivity and narrative analysis, and contrasted the overly local focus on immediate question-answer sequences.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiscursive Psychology
Subtitle of host publicationClassic and Contemporary Issues
EditorsCristian Tileagă, Elizabeth Stokoe
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781317950547
ISBN (Print)9780415721608
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2015


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