ERIC Number: ED458228
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Reconsidering Rapport: Interviewing as Postmodern Inquiry Practice.
Lincoln, Yvonna S.
Interviewing has been a recognized mainstay of ethnographic fieldwork for more than 100 years. Coupled with participant observation, it was taken to be the complete corpus of anthropological and sociological inquiry activity. Although the repertoire of fieldwork inquirers has grown, interviewing remains a primary data collection technique, especially for gathering knowledge and understanding about "lived experience." One of the mainstays of interviewing technique has been termed "rapport," the researcher's achievement of sufficient sympathy or empathy with the interviewee that he or she is wiling to share critical or intimate data with the researcher. Rapport has remained a given of fieldwork method, but some researchers and theorists warned early on that assuming a consensus model of social research was probably unrealistic, especially since social life is characterized by conflict and dissension. The interaction between the mandate to achieve rapport and the acknowledgement that conflict accompanies pluralism must be taken into account in fieldwork. This paper explores the inner tension between achieving rapport and acknowledging social conflict and the inability to achieve rapport as an interviewing phenomenon present in ethnographic fieldwork. (Contains 33 references.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Seattle, WA, April 10-14, 2001).