Between Text and Talk: Managing Interactional Issues in the IM Interview

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In this article we adopt a discursive approach to analyzing the transcripts of qualitative interviews conducted via Instant Messaging (IM). Our aim is to show how interview participants cope with the distinctive interactional troubles occasioned by a “real-time,” text-based online medium. In making interviews the topic of inquiry rather using them simply as a resource for apprehending the lifeworld of participants, we follow the tradition of language and social interaction (LSI) which conceptualizes research interviews as sites for the strategic management of often different discursive goals of interviewer and interviewee. We focus in our analysis on how interviewers and interviewees appropriate textual features in ways specific to this medium in order to uphold conversational rules and roles, and in so doing, collaborate to fulfill the multifunctional research endeavor.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

The Electronic Journal of Communication, v. 19, issues 1-2