Pragmatic Identity Analysis as a Qualitative Interview Technique

Joseph Levitan, Julia Mahfouz, Deborah L. Schussler


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.


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

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Copyright (c) 2018 Joseph Levitan, Julia Mahfouz, Deborah L. Schussler

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