Qualifying the Qualitative Social Work Interview : A Linguistic Anthropological Approach


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

As a methodological proposal, this article proposes an approach to interview analysis that connects the content of interview data with (1) the immediate context of the inter- view, (2) the way context emerges and changes during an interview, (3) the relationship between the interviewee, the interviewer, and other less immediate parties who elicit and evaluate what said, and (4) the cultural conventions that shape what counts as a meaningful speech in the first place. The article continues on to delineate the importance of accounting for (5) the relationship of the interview to previous occasions of speaking, and (6) the relevant stakes of speaking and interests of speakers. The potential import of each principle is illustrated in reference to methodologi- cal challenges encountered during an ethnographic study of an intensive outpatient drug treatment program, a multi- method evaluation of the same program, and relevant practice experiences. In conclusion, the paper discusses how to make the most of data collected in ‘interview intensive’ (Padgett, 2008) qualitative social work research.

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