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THE EFFECT OF INTERVIEWER'S GENDER ON THE INTERVIEWING PROCESS: A COMPARATIVE ENQUIRY

Maureen Padfield and Ian Procter
Sociology
Vol. 30, No. 2 (May 1996), pp. 355-366
Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42855686
Page Count: 12
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
THE EFFECT OF INTERVIEWER'S GENDER ON THE INTERVIEWING PROCESS: A COMPARATIVE ENQUIRY
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Abstract

This paper is drawn from a study of the work and family experiences and aspirations of young adult women who were interviewed by either one or the other of the authors in 1992. A comparison can thus be drawn between interviews conducted by a man and those by a woman. This is attempted in a systematic and empirical way. The initial intention was to learn from the literature on gender and the interview to minimise the impact of the interviewer's gender on the data generated. In the first section this is reviewed and we put a case that this intention was achieved. This was, however, only to an extent, as we indicate with material on the revelation of abortion experience to the two interviewers. Whilst there was a similar pattern of response to our direct questions, there was a marked difference in the voluntary addition of further personal experience. The final evidence we deploy comes from re-interviews done in 1994 in which the interviewees were asked about their perception of the significance of the original interviewer's gender. This indicates the importance of interviewees' concepts of gender as well as the intentions of researchers.

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