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Emotions, disclosures and reflexivity: reflections on interviewing young people in Zambia and women in midlife in the UK

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Purpose - This chapter reflects on selected issues raised by the emotions involved in the social relations of qualitative research. We use experiences from two separate studies to explore the role of emotion and affect in: the embodied, face-to-face encounter of the interview; the ‘translation’ of interpretations of emotional responses from one cultural context into another; the reflexivity of the researcher and the researched; and the ethical implications of this form of research.

Methodology - The studies, one doctoral research and one funded by a Leverhulme grant, took a qualitative approach, employing individual semi-structured interviews with young people in Zambia and women in their fifties in Swindon, UK.

Findings - The chapter argues that emotions within the interview are bound up with the potential meanings and outcomes of the interview to both the researcher and the interviewee. Emotions affect what is said and unsaid in the interview; what is communicated and hidden; and how the material is interpreted.

Originality/value – The chapter brings together experiences from conducting highly emotive research in majority and minority world contexts. It focuses on similarities in the dilemmas posed to researchers by the emotions involved in the social relations of research, regardless of location.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmotion and the Researcher
Subtitle of host publicationSites, Subjectivities and Relationships
EditorsT. Loughran, D. Mannay
Place of PublicationBingley
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78714-611-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-78714-612-9
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2018

Publication series

NameStudies in Qualitative Methodology
ISSN (Print)1042-3192
Relations Get citation (various referencing formats)

ID: 7718494