The Disavowal of Difference: Accessing Class and Symbolic Boundary Drawing in Interviews

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    Abstract

    In this article the author recounts and reflects upon methodological issues raised in research about class representations and symbolic boundary drawing in face-to-face interview encounters. Although explicit class categories are avoided among the interviewees, particularly for self-identification, processes of moral judgments, revealed in statements about ‘others’, underlines distinctions that are about class. The article discusses different aspects of accessing class by way of interviews (thereby privileging ‘talk’ as a source of data), the dilemmas involved in conducting the interviews (including the need for paying attention to classed power inherent in the research setting), and the challenges and associated problems of representing the experience of others, especially when researching across difference.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalQualitative Studies
    Volume3
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)181-197
    ISSN1903-7031
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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