Review Essay: What Actually Happens During an Interview? Ethnomethodologically Inspired Research on Qualitative Interview Research




interviews, studies of qualitative interview studies, interaction, ethnomethodology, conversation analysis, applied conversation analysis, membership categorization analysis, discursive psychology, research practice, reflexivity


Interviews appear to be the qualitative research method of choice but have rarely been the subject of qualitative methodological research. Therefore, it is largely unclear what exactly happens during an interview and how interviews are empirically constituted as communication and interaction situations. This research gap is the focus of ROULSTON's anthology "Interactional Studies of Qualitative Research Interviews," which I discuss in this review essay. Over the course of 12 contributions, the authors present ethnomethodologically inspired (re)analyses of interactional dynamics, social actions, and conversational resources in interviews. The volume is particularly worth reading, and the contributors (once again) demonstrate the utility of an ethnomethodological and conversation analysis-based perspective for understanding interview interactions. This can inspire researchers to examine interactional dynamics in their own projects more intensively. For researchers interested in the methodological discussion on interview research, this book offers not only insights into the state of the art but also suggestions for future research in the field of "social studies of interview studies" (RAPLEY 2012, p.552). If this research field is to be consolidated, I propose more systematic studies of interview research, the consideration of different research traditions, and the intensification of the international exchange on interview research.


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Author Biography

Judith Eckert, Universität Duisburg-Essen

Judith ECKERT ist wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin im DFG-geförderten Projekt "Fragen in qualitativen Interviews. Sekundäranalysen zur Bedeutung unterschiedlicher Frageformen in Interviews" (Leitung: Carsten G. ULLRICH) an der Universität Duisburg-Essen. Ihre Arbeitsschwerpunkte liegen in den Bereichen qualitative Methoden und Methodenkombinationen, soziale Ungleichheit, Geschlechterforschung, Beziehungs- und Familiensoziologie sowie Soziologie der (Un-)Sicherheit und Angst.



How to Cite

Eckert, J. (2021). Review Essay: What Actually Happens During an Interview? Ethnomethodologically Inspired Research on Qualitative Interview Research. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 22(2).