P06
The interview as imagined space: authentic data and the extraordinary occasion

Convenors:
Katherine Smith (University of Manchester)
Nigel Rapport (St. Andrews University)
Location:
Lecture Theatre LT5
Start time:
16 April, 2010 at 9:00
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

The panel welcomes papers which explore the implication of the interview, how it is imagined and used as a space to discuss ideas/experiences which may not be expressed in everyday conversation, what this may imply about notions of 'authentic' data and the ways ethnography is conducted and recorded.

Long abstract:

An elemental part of modern social practice is the reflection and realisation of human ideas and subjectivities, and their detachment from the moment of experience, as ideas are discussed in conversation with others. Within the context of ethnographic inquiry, the interview itself may, then, play a crucial role in eliciting information which would otherwise not be discussed in everyday life and conversation. 'People may become easily analytical about their own and others' experiences in an interview situation'. The interview may be seen to provide a space for the detachment and envisioning of subjectivities at a particular moment in time, and in a particular moment of experience. As the anthropologist explains the role of the interview as the furtherance of respect and awareness of other ways of life, individuals may choose to resist or disagree with social norms and expectations. Framed and legitimated through the context of the interview itself, individual freedom to express particular, perhaps personal, views and imaginations may take precedence over wider social expectations. What is the implication of the interview and how is it imagined? How are ideas expressed and compared to wider social expectations? This panel welcomes papers which explore the implications of the interview, how it is imagined and used as a space to discuss ideas and experiences which may not otherwise be expressed in everyday conversation, as well as what this may imply about notions of 'authentic' data and the ways in which ethnography is conducted and recorded.