Thinking about cross-cultural differences in qualitative interviewing: Practices for more responsive and trusting encounters

Anson Au

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Existing methodological efforts subsume the interview into broad epistemological abstractions, neglecting actual mechanics of the interview as practice, and dismiss linguistic and cultural asymmetry in the interview as a matter of (in)adequate resources. Reflecting on 24 semi-structured interviews exploring social media use among Hong Kong youth, this article develops a culturally sensitive approach that democratically exposes the way cultural norms surface in communication, using strategies which (a) transform the dialogical mechanics of an interview—reflecting back and encouraging; (b) transform the positionality of the researcher—building intersubjectivity and emotional rapport; (c) transform the context of the interview—making shifts in space, language, and presentation. In doing so, a culturally sensitive approach generates practical recommendations for (a) humanizing the researcher to dismantle power imbalances and social distances and (b) naturalizing the interview into a more conversational form, both of which combine to expose the cultural logics that govern action and interpretation whilst constructing results into intimate narratives of people’s life-worlds.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)58-77
Number of pages20
JournalQualitative Report
Volume24
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Culture
  • Dialogue
  • East Asia
  • Intersubjectivity
  • Narrative construction
  • Positionality
  • Power relations
  • Qualitative Interview

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education

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