Informant Identities and Concerns in Interview Openings

Dorte Lønsmann (Lecturer)

    Activity: Talk or presentationLecture and oral contribution


    In ethnographic research, researcher positionality and researcher-informant interaction are key factors influencing the data collection. Previous studies in business settings have shown how differences in status, race and gender as well as insider-outsider dynamics influence the research process. The present study focuses on researcher-informant interaction during interview openings. Drawing on data from a project investigating multilingualism in the workplace, the analysis focuses on the first few minutes of interviews where the frame is negotiated. Particular attention will be paid to concerns raised by informants and whether different types of concerns, e.g. anonymity, the amount of time spent participating and the issue of feedback to the organization, differ between different types of informants. Since status and power are important factors in positioning work done in business settings, particular attention will be paid to differences between white-collar and blue-collar workers. The paper takes the theoretical view of identity and positionality as dynamic and constructed in interaction and does as such pay attention to the researcher contributions as well as informants’. The paper asks what kind of concerns research participants express in the interview situation and how issues of power and identity affect this part of the data collection.
    Period6 Jan 20168 Jan 2016
    Event typeConference
    LocationCape Town, South Africa