Pragmatic Identity Analysis as a Qualitative Interview Technique




identity, qualitative research, interview, collaborative methods, reflective methods, pragmatic identity analysis


In this article, we examine a qualitative interview and analytical technique for exploring the influences of identities on an individual's experiences. The technique, pragmatic identity analysis (PIA), relies upon a collaborative, reflective, contextually oriented, and relational approach to interviewing. For the purposes of this technique, "identity" is understood as a unique collection of dynamic identities that manifest in diverse contexts. Through narrative dialogue the interview pair jointly reflects upon the identities of the interviewee. They then analyze how identities play a role in the individual's experiences and the formation of values, dispositions towards enacting values, and the sense of wellbeing in different contexts. To examine the efficacy of the technique we present a case study of a first year teacher's growing awareness of her identities and the influence of her identities on her transition to a teaching role.


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Author Biographies

Joseph Levitan, McGill University

Joseph LEVITAN is an assistant professor in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University (Montreal, Canada). In his work, Joseph examines the intersections of education, identity, and social justice, working particularly with educational leaders and youth from marginalized communities. He focuses on collaborative methods for social justice work and organizational growth to foster high quality and responsive learning environments.

Julia Mahfouz, University of Idaho

Julia MAHFOUZ is an assistant professor in the educational leadership program, Department of Leadership and Counseling at the University of Idaho (USA). Julia's research interests include exploring the social and emotional dynamics of educational settings and their effect on school climate. She has examined the influence of mindfulness-based professional development program (CARE) on the well-being and leadership of school administrators. She is particularly focused on applying this research to enhancing the principals' social-emotional competencies and their capacity to cultivate a supportive learning environment for improved student outcomes and over-all school improvement.

Deborah L. Schussler, The Pennsylvania State University

Deborah L. SCHUSSLER is an associate professor of educational leadership at Pennsylvania State University (USA). She explores how prospective educators acquire the necessary dispositions to meet the needs of all learners and investigates intervention programs that enhance teachers' and students' social-emotional competencies.




How to Cite

Levitan, J., Mahfouz, J., & Schussler, D. L. (2018). Pragmatic Identity Analysis as a Qualitative Interview Technique. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 19(3).