Existing methodological efforts subsume the interview into broad epistemological abstractions, neglecting actual mechanics of the interview as practice, and dismiss linguistic and cultural asymmetry in the interview as a matter of (in)adequate resources. Reflecting on 24 semi-structured interviews exploring social media use among Hong Kong youth, this article develops a culturally sensitive approach that democratically exposes the way cultural norms surface in communication, using strategies which (a) transform the dialogical mechanics of an interview—reflecting back and encouraging; (b) transform the positionality of the researcher—building intersubjectivity and emotional rapport; (c) transform the context of the interview—making shifts in space, language, and presentation. In doing so, a culturally sensitive approach generates practical recommendations for (a) humanizing the researcher to dismantle power imbalances and social distances and (b) naturalizing the interview into a more conversational form, both of which combine to expose the cultural logics that govern action and interpretation whilst constructing results into intimate narratives of people’s life-worlds.
Qualitative Interview, Dialogue, Culture, Power Relations, Positionality, Intersubjectivity, Narrative Construction, East Asia
I express my gratitude to Matthew Chew and the Department of Sociology at Hong Kong Baptist University for hosting me as a Visiting Researcher, where part of this research was conducted. Thanks are also due to Zhiheng Chen and Julia Ma for their research assistance.
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Recommended APA Citation
Au, A. (2019). Thinking about Cross-Cultural Differences in Qualitative Interviewing: Practices for More Responsive and Trusting Encounters. The Qualitative Report, 24(1), 58-77. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2019.3403