The Dynamics of Interviewing

Mary Kay Quinlan

in The Oxford Handbook of Oral History

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780195339550
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199940578 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The Dynamics of Interviewing

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The focus of this article is the dynamics of oral history and the significance of interviewing while recording oral history. From the profound to the perfunctory, question-asking permeates modern society. Sometimes, of course, the questioner does not want information, like the alumni association solicitor. At other times, the respondent, wise to the conventions of culture, knows that the question—How are you today?—is not really a question at all but an alternate way of saying hello. Nonetheless, the purposeful exchanges of questions and answers—these commonplace mini-interviews—characterize our days. This article discusses researches that are interview based with references to broadcast interview, print interview as well as ethnographic interview. While these three interview-based research methods share certain similarities, and their practitioners can learn constructive techniques from each other, their differences are more notable. This article elaborates the factors affecting interview and ways of documenting an interview.

Keywords: oral history; dynamics of interviewing; modern society; broadcast interview; mini-interview

Article.  6513 words. 

Subjects: Oral History

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