Examining how simultaneous talk functions in a qualitative research interview

Christensen, Steven A. and Whitehead, M. (2010) Examining how simultaneous talk functions in a qualitative research interview. In: 27th International Congress of Applied Psychology, 11-16 July 2010, Melbourne, Australia.

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Abstract

The general aim of this study was to describe some of the discursive practices for managing qualitative research interviews. The specific aim was to examine the form, function, and location of simultaneous talk in a qualitative research interview. A conversation analysis (cf., Sacks, 1992) of 266 lines of transcribed talk from New Zealand Interview 2 (van den Berg, Wetherell, & Houtkoop-Steenstra, 2003) on race relations in New Zealand during the 1980s was completed. First, simultaneous talk was identified in the transcript. Second, acknowledgement tokens and continuers (cf., Gardner, 2001) that were produced in overlap with other talk were excluded. Third, the remaining instances were categorised using Ferguson’s (1977) interruptions taxonomy and Jefferson’s (1984) notes on the interactional properties at overlap onset. Simultaneous talk occurs at or near a transition relevant place where speaker change can legitimately occur. Judging a break in the continuity of the first speaker’s talk was difficult and subjective. This undermines using Ferguson’s criteria to categorise simple, overlap, butt-in, and silent interruptions. However examining the sequential, semantic, and interactional properties of the talk prior to, at, and following overlap onset, shows how a recipient closely attends to the talk in progress. Thus simultaneous talk is aligned to the syntactic complete-ness, adequacy, or dysfluency of questions, answers, and other actions produced in a qualitative research interview. Simultaneous talk is typically treated as interrupting, and is maligned in ‘how to interview’ textbooks. A focus on speaker change and breaks in verbal continuity overlook a recipient’s fine-grained attention to the current speaker’s talk. The orderly, lawful, and recurrent onset of simultaneous talk in qualitative research interviews point to its role in progressing this conversation. This finding displays how interviews are socially constructed and culturally informed events.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Poster)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Poster presentation - only abstracts published in conference proceedings, as supplied here.
Depositing User: Mrs Melissa Jarick
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2010 05:19
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2011 04:10
Uncontrolled Keywords: simultaneous talk, research interviews, discursive practices, conversation analysis, managing qualitative research interviews
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170110 Psychological Methodology, Design and Analysis
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/8631

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