Working side by side? Interaction and interview data in research on household conflicts

Joerg Zinken, Alexsandra Borek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article discusses the possibilities and challenges of combining conversation analysis and ethnography in the study of everyday family life. We argue that such a combination requires the decision whether to prioritise interaction data or ethnographic (in particular, interview) data in the analysis. We present a conversation analytic case study of how household work is commonly brought up in the interactions of one couple and bring this to bear on a re-analysis of a possible conflict situation originally described in the ethnographic analysis by Klein, Izquierdo, and Bradbury (2007), published in this journal. While the findings of the two analyses converge, they inform us about different dimensions of couple interaction. The ethnographic analysis is focused on participants' experiences, and the conversation analysis is focused on participants' practices. We conclude that the methodological decision to prioritise interaction or interview data has consequences for the kind of questions we can ask.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-113
Number of pages15
JournalQualitative Research in Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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