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Researcher and Therapist: The Conversations of the Qualitative Interview
Unformatted Document Text:  6 Conversation between the two participants. In this respect, there can be no one definition or characterization of this phenomenon. The therapeutic encounter is continuously recreated and redefined by those involved in the event. As a result, it remains more transparent than concrete, expressed more accurately by feelings than by thoughts. The Nature of Discourse Discourse may be viewed as a system of statements or interpretative repertoires that allow us to assign meaning to objects or events. However, words not only provide meaning; they perform actions and achieve goals (Wood & Kroger, 2000). The multiple functions of talk are mediated by the people involved, the context of the event, and the social and cultural influences that define spoken statements. The discourse of a culture provides a framework of boundaries that guide the creation and reporting of reality. Discourses do not simply describe the social world, but also bring phenomena into sight (Parker, 1992). Wetherell and Potter (1987) identified words as deeds; they constitute the objects of our world and give meaning to our actions. Sampson (1993) asserted “there is no meaning to reality behind the discourse; discursive representations are the basis for what we come to accept as real” (p. 6). The spoken discourses of conversation provide multiple realities for the speaker, making space for a particular type of self to emerge. By addressing the self through the multiple texts of various realities, discourses cause one to listen and behave as a certain type of person (Parker, 1992). Foucault (1971) referred to the interactive process of discourse as a “ritual” that further defines who may speak and what type of utterances may be offered in “the fellowships of discourse” (p. 18). The discourse of science has employed similar rituals that have historically shaped the nature and the emphasis of the research process. Those rituals have been based upon the framework of a positivist approach to discovery. Situated in claims of a singular truth or

Authors: Kelly, Nancy.
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6
Conversation
between the two participants. In this respect, there can be no one definition or characterization of
this phenomenon. The therapeutic encounter is continuously recreated and redefined by those
involved in the event. As a result, it remains more transparent than concrete, expressed more
accurately by feelings than by thoughts.
The Nature of Discourse
Discourse may be viewed as a system of statements or interpretative repertoires that allow
us to assign meaning to objects or events. However, words not only provide meaning; they
perform actions and achieve goals (Wood & Kroger, 2000). The multiple functions of talk are
mediated by the people involved, the context of the event, and the social and cultural influences
that define spoken statements. The discourse of a culture provides a framework of boundaries
that guide the creation and reporting of reality. Discourses do not simply describe the social
world, but also bring phenomena into sight (Parker, 1992). Wetherell and Potter (1987) identified
words as deeds; they constitute the objects of our world and give meaning to our actions.
Sampson (1993) asserted “there is no meaning to reality behind the discourse; discursive
representations are the basis for what we come to accept as real” (p. 6).
The spoken discourses of conversation provide multiple realities for the speaker, making
space for a particular type of self to emerge. By addressing the self through the multiple texts of
various realities, discourses cause one to listen and behave as a certain type of person (Parker,
1992). Foucault (1971) referred to the interactive process of discourse as a “ritual” that further
defines who may speak and what type of utterances may be offered in “the fellowships of
discourse” (p. 18). The discourse of science has employed similar rituals that have historically
shaped the nature and the emphasis of the research process. Those rituals have been based upon
the framework of a positivist approach to discovery. Situated in claims of a singular truth or


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