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Researcher and Therapist: The Conversations of the Qualitative Interview
Unformatted Document Text:  7 Conversation objective reality, authentic research was considered to be a linear process that was conducted by value-free observers searching for rational conclusions (Mertens, 1998). Recent scientific discourses have expanded to include the rituals of qualitative methodologies within their repertoire. These discourses recognize the multiplicity of reality and celebrate the subjective nature of the information gathered through the research process. Hoskins (2000) drew upon Efran’s and Fauber’s (1995) declaration that language is the site for the negotiation of meaning, and on Mahoney’s (1991) assertion that the self is a meaning- making process to elucidate the connective thread of discourse and personal identity. She suggested that identities are constructed from the available discourses of the dominant culture that are often enacted within the narrative process of research. Foucault (1971) recognized that the topic of sexuality had been historically prohibited from this process and that such studies must be mindful of the impact of the external “discursive ensembles” that influence and mediate the discourse of sexuality (p. 26). Literature of discourses of identity. It has been suggested that individuals hold many identities throughout the lifespan and that these identities may be viewed in the physical, sexual, social, vocational, moral, and psychological characteristics that make up the total self. Although traditional psychology recognized identity as a stable and inherent characteristic that was permanently embedded within the individual (e.g., Potter & Wetherell, 1987), more recent theoretical perspectives have suggested a more fluid, changing, image of self. The constructivist view of identity posits that identity is not a fixed or concrete entity, but rather a cluster of self-organizing or meaning-making processes that are held within the individual (Carlsen, 1988, 1996; Mahoney, 1991; Peavy, 1997). Social constructionism describes identities as changing constructs, created by social interactions and conveyed through shared

Authors: Kelly, Nancy.
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7
Conversation
objective reality, authentic research was considered to be a linear process that was conducted by
value-free observers searching for rational conclusions (Mertens, 1998). Recent scientific
discourses have expanded to include the rituals of qualitative methodologies within their
repertoire. These discourses recognize the multiplicity of reality and celebrate the subjective
nature of the information gathered through the research process.
Hoskins (2000) drew upon Efran’s and Fauber’s (1995) declaration that language is the
site for the negotiation of meaning, and on Mahoney’s (1991) assertion that the self is a meaning-
making process to elucidate the connective thread of discourse and personal identity. She
suggested that identities are constructed from the available discourses of the dominant culture
that are often enacted within the narrative process of research. Foucault (1971) recognized that
the topic of sexuality had been historically prohibited from this process and that such studies
must be mindful of the impact of the external “discursive ensembles” that influence and mediate
the discourse of sexuality (p. 26).
Literature of discourses of identity. It has been suggested that individuals hold many
identities throughout the lifespan and that these identities may be viewed in the physical, sexual,
social, vocational, moral, and psychological characteristics that make up the total self. Although
traditional psychology recognized identity as a stable and inherent characteristic that was
permanently embedded within the individual (e.g., Potter & Wetherell, 1987), more recent
theoretical perspectives have suggested a more fluid, changing, image of self.
The constructivist view of identity posits that identity is not a fixed or concrete entity, but
rather a cluster of self-organizing or meaning-making processes that are held within the
individual (Carlsen, 1988, 1996; Mahoney, 1991; Peavy, 1997). Social constructionism describes
identities as changing constructs, created by social interactions and conveyed through shared


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