Journal article

Hidden boundaries and shared meanings: The roles of researcher characteristics and cultural norms in shaping understandings of sexuality in the unstructured interview setting

R Thorpe, G Hawkes, T Dune, B Fileborn, M Pitts, V Minichiello

International Journal of Social Research Methodology | Informa UK Limited | Published : 2018

Abstract

This paper examines the role of the research process in shaping the construction of knowledge about sensitive topics in in-depth interviews particularly with regard to researcher identity and cultural influences or norms. We argue that these influences shape all aspects of the research process and that researchers will benefit from reflecting upon them when planning, undertaking and interpreting qualitative studies. Drawing on an empirical study interviewing Australian women aged 55 years and older about sexuality we address differences and similarities between researchers and participants; cultural constructions of sexuality and ageing, and generational influences. Using examples from our i..

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