NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1203473
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1364-5579
Class Matters: Interviewing across Social Class Boundaries
Mao, Jina; Feldman, Elana
International Journal of Social Research Methodology, v22 n2 p125-137 2019
In this paper, we explore the methodological implications of conducting qualitative interviews when researchers and participants come from different social classes. Singling out class on its own terms, rather than considering it as an auxiliary structural factor, we examine the unique challenges that arise during cross-class interviews. Such challenges, we contend, require researcher reflexivity about how researcher-participant interactions unfold and the ways in which knowledge is generated during the interview process. In our discussion, we draw on Bourdieu's cultural view of social class to argue that cross-class dynamics between the researcher and the participant -- along with the normalization of middle-class values often inherent in interview questions -- create potential obstacles to establishing rapport and facilitating fertile conversation. We use examples from our own field research in a U.S. fast-food chain to illustrate these barriers. We also provide practical recommendations to researchers regarding how they can minimize class-based biases, reduce class saliency, and gain awareness of their own class positions during cross-class interviews.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A