The researcher/interviewer in intercultural context: a social intruder!
The search for improved understanding in cross-cultural contexts is resulting in a correspondingly high increase in cross-cultural studies in diverse fields and disciplines. Globalization, economic universalism and internationalization of technology, as well as increased international mobility, immigration and relocation accelerated by the communication explosion, are drawing the world closer, but with an increasing awareness of differences, particularly across the given historical and eco-political divides. The challenge to research is to communicate meaningfully across these divides. This article explores the issues surrounding cross-cultural interviewing. Against the backdrop of growing emphasis on cross-cultural research, there is an emerging need to reconsider interviewing as a research tool with a focus on the interview participants' subjectivities and the subsequent interplay with data collection and making meaning. This entails a recognition of the deep consequences of culture — the embedded patterns of behaviour and the processes of making meaning — and the significance of how these impact on doing research across cultures.
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