Increasingly, researchers are conducting studies within a diversity of cultural contexts This paper discusses whether and how the researcher’s own cultural otherness plays a role in academic interview situations. The argument is based on Goffman’s theory of interaction under conditions of otherness and the empirical data from 118 interviews and notes during the years 2007 and 2010 and between 2013 and 2014. The empirical data presented in this paper illustrate how a lack of education, socialisation, and cultivation within the fieldwork context—one’s own cultural otherness—assumes ceremonial and substantial meaning in academic interview situations and merits being the subject of methodological considerations.


Elite Interviews, Own Cultural Otherness, Interviewing Methodologies, Ethnographic Research

Author Bio(s)

Sarah Anne Ganter is a Research Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. The focus of her work is qualitative comparative research, media governance, media change and journalism. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: sarah.ganter@politics.ox.ac.uk.


Many thanks to the reviewers for their very helpful comments.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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