Stance-taking in Interviews from the Qualidata Archive


  • Sofia Lampropoulou University of Liverpool
  • Greg Myers Lancaster University



qualitative interviews, questions, stance-taking, dialogue, reported speech, repetition, ESDS Qualidata Archive


Researchers in several disciplines have argued that a social science interview should be seen as a product of situated interaction, rather than as the elicitation of the interviewee's pre-existing cognitive state. We propose an approach for analysis of this interaction based on studies of stance-taking and of responses to questions. Studies of stance-taking can help us understand the process of elicitation; in these studies, expressing one's evaluation of an object is seen as an inherently dialogical act that involves positioning oneself, defining a shared object, and aligning or not with previous stance-taking. Studies of responses to questions can help us apply these general analyses of stance-taking in dialogue to the specific genre of the research interview. In this article, we analyse existing transcripts from the Qualidata Archive and focus on the devices interviewees have for showing that they are taking up the question, and for aligning or disaligning with the stance projected in it, and the devices used by interviewers in follow-up questions to recalibrate the object of stance-taking. Since we focus on the lexical and syntactic form of elicitations, responses, and follow-ups, the approach can be applied, with some important caveats, to typical social science research transcripts, not just to specially retranscribed interviews.



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Author Biographies

Sofia Lampropoulou, University of Liverpool

Sofia LAMPROPOULOU received her PhD in linguistics from Lancaster University. She is lecturer in English language at the University of Liverpool, UK. Her research interests lie in the areas of sociolinguistics and discourse analysis. She is author of the monograph "Direct Speech, Self Presentation and Communities of Practice" (Continuum, 2012) and of articles that appeared in the journals Discourse & Society and Journal of Pragmatics.

Greg Myers, Lancaster University

Greg MYERS (PhD Columbia University) is Professor of Rhetoric and Communication in the Department of Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University, UK. Recent publications include "Matters of Opinion: Talking about Public Issues" (Cambridge University Press, 2004) and "The Discourse of Blogs and Wikis" (Continuum, 2010). He is editor of the journal Discourse, Context & Media.




How to Cite

Lampropoulou, S., & Myers, G. (2012). Stance-taking in Interviews from the Qualidata Archive. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 14(1).



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