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Researcher and Therapist: The Conversations of the Qualitative Interview
Unformatted Document Text:  9 Conversation individual meaning of identity expressed by the interview participants serves only as a means to the primary goal of process analysis. In this approach, analysts need to be able to step into a dialog to understand the discourse as a coherent pattern of actions, while standing outside the details to capture the broader view (Parker, 1992). In this way, the analyst must recognize and interpret both micro and macro levels of the text. In this document, a micro level analysis would focus on the elements of alignment and disalignment; a more macro level approach would examine how these positions were enabled within the interview. Potter and Wetherell (1987) noted that a discourse analysis provides clarity to a text. They argued that analysis should demonstrate how the discourse of an event comes together and how a particular discursive structure produces results. Wood and Kroger (2000, p. 95) stated that the overall goal of the analysis is to “explain what is being done in the discourse and how it is accomplished.” This involves a repetitive pattern of examination by the analyst and an interplay with the text. The process of discourse analysis may be viewed as dialectic—where the text and the interviewer inform one another while constructing new understanding. Discourse analysis is, at its core, a methodology that privileges the uncertainty of variability, the heterogeneous nature of dialog, and the tentativeness of reality as the resources of meaningful analysis. While many studies have focused on the discourse of therapy and how qualitative methodologies are applied in clinical settings (e.g., Chenail, 1992; Crabtree, & Miller, 1992; Maione, 1997; Maione & Chenail, 1999 ), few have concentrated on how therapeutic techniques and strategies might be implemented within the framework of the qualitative interview. Here, I will utilize the methodologies of discourse analysis to identify and investigate how these discourses inform the dialog of the interview and how the voice of the therapist is reflected in the

Authors: Kelly, Nancy.
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9
Conversation
individual meaning of identity expressed by the interview participants serves only as a means to
the primary goal of process analysis. In this approach, analysts need to be able to step into a
dialog to understand the discourse as a coherent pattern of actions, while standing outside the
details to capture the broader view (Parker, 1992). In this way, the analyst must recognize and
interpret both micro and macro levels of the text. In this document, a micro level analysis would
focus on the elements of alignment and disalignment; a more macro level approach would
examine how these positions were enabled within the interview.
Potter and Wetherell (1987) noted that a discourse analysis provides clarity to a text.
They argued that analysis should demonstrate how the discourse of an event comes together and
how a particular discursive structure produces results. Wood and Kroger (2000, p. 95) stated that
the overall goal of the analysis is to “explain what is being done in the discourse and how it is
accomplished.” This involves a repetitive pattern of examination by the analyst and an interplay
with the text. The process of discourse analysis may be viewed as dialectic—where the text and
the interviewer inform one another while constructing new understanding. Discourse analysis is,
at its core, a methodology that privileges the uncertainty of variability, the heterogeneous nature
of dialog, and the tentativeness of reality as the resources of meaningful analysis.
While many studies have focused on the discourse of therapy and how qualitative
methodologies are applied in clinical settings (e.g., Chenail, 1992; Crabtree, & Miller, 1992;
Maione, 1997; Maione & Chenail, 1999 ), few have concentrated on how therapeutic techniques
and strategies might be implemented within the framework of the qualitative interview. Here, I
will utilize the methodologies of discourse analysis to identify and investigate how these
discourses inform the dialog of the interview and how the voice of the therapist is reflected in the


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