Interviewing in Cross-Cultural Settings

William Schneider

in The Oxford Handbook of Oral History

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Interviewing in Cross-Cultural Settings

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  • Social and Cultural History



The essence of this article is interviewing in cross-cultural settings. Cross-cultural interviews involve an interviewer and an interviewee who come from different backgrounds and have different experiences. They may not share common assumptions about meaning and both must work to establish understanding of what they mean by what they say. Usually, the person interviewing comes from a literate tradition and is conducting the interview to create a record that they or others will analyze and reference in their work. The person interviewed often is from a group whose primary reference is their oral tradition and narratives based on personal experience. In cross-cultural settings the interviewee or narrator is creating narrative from his or her oral tradition and personal experiences, while the interviewer is working to make a record for reference after the recording session. This article also discusses the ways of communicating in cross-cultural context. An analysis of cross-cultural interviews concludes this article.

Keywords: cross-cultural settings; cross-cultural interviews; literate tradition; oral tradition; cross-cultural context

Article.  7278 words. 

Subjects: History ; Social and Cultural History

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