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Title: The interviewer's self-disclosure in L2 research interviews : a conversational analytic study on empathic reformulation and discursive identity work embedded in the interviewer's self-revealing talk
Author: Cho, Yoonjoo
ISNI:       0000 0004 7660 1769
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2018
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This PhD study applies conversation analysis (CA) to the examination of L2 research interview interaction. More specifically, it provides a fine detailed investigation of the interviewer's self-disclosure in qualitative interviews with L2 immigrants, thereby shedding light on the main research question: "How does the interviewer's self-disclosure play a part in the interview process?" This thesis particularly focuses on presenting and discussing how the interviewer's self-disclosure turns are formulated and how such formulation reveals the interviewer's orientation to the interviewees' prior talk. Self-disclosure here denotes the interactional moments when the interviewer reveals personal information about herself (e.g. her experiences and opinions in relation to the ongoing talk), although such tellings were not prompted or requested by the interviewees. Thousands of research literature on self-disclosure has been published in the field of social psychology for several decades; however, their approach to, analyses of the topic remained rather rudimentary and uncritical. That is, self-disclosure was readily operationalised as a mere variable (i.e. independent variable or dependent variable) or a pre-given category (e.g. personality trait, cognitive state and so forth) in the studies, under the employment of quantitative methods such as questionnaires and experiments (Antaki et al., 2005). By critically engaging with such treatment in traditional psychology literature, a few interactional studies, drawing on CA and discursive psychology (DP), have examined how actual people design their talk to come off as self-disclosive action, and what kind of interactional consequences that self-disclosure brings in a range of different interactional environments (i.e. Abell et al., 2006; Antaki et al., 2005; Childs & Walsh, 2017; Leudar et al., 2006; Stokoe, 2009). Indeed, the studies have provide insightful examples relating to 'how self-disclosure is treated as something produced in a particular interactional context, and how it is designed to handle a particular interactional contingency' (Stokoe, 2009: 157). The current study also aligns with the approach of the aforementioned CA/DP studies, by illuminating how the interviewer's self-revealing talk is formatted and operated as a socially ii situated practice. In doing this, a total of 64 self-disclosure cases were identified in the corpus composed of approximately ten hours of research interviews with ten marriage immigrant participants. Subsequently, the recognised instances of the video recording were transcribed and analysed by CA. The selected sequences including the interviewer (IR)'s self-disclosure (SD) are discussed in this thesis with three analytic foci: 1) the IR's SD prefaced with a turn initial, I also; 2) the IR's SD as a part of assisting the interviewees' formulation; 3) the IR's SD as a second story in reponse to the interviewee's first story. The CA analyses of the phenomenon demonstrate that the IR's SD turns have three broader interactional functions, namely: 1) empathic reformulation of the interviewees' preceding turns; 2) pre-emptive formulation of the interviewee's inarticulate or unspecific utterances; 3) discursive identity work highlighting the common experiential ground between the speakers through shared identities (e.g. L2 speaker, foreigner, learner and employee). Such functions provide interactionally grounded evidence of how the interviewer attempts to build rapport in situ by orienting to several different types of formulation and identities. Such findings from this study not only show how building rapport is made visible in interview interactions, but also present how the interviewer utilises identity as an interactional resource to demonstrate intersubjective understanding and affiliation work. The aforementioned findings addresses an important methodological implication in relation to the importance of 'researcher reflexivity'. (Mann, 2016; Mann and Walsh, 2013; Roulston, 2010a; Roulston, 2016). In particular, examples and discussion points from this study will highlight how CA transcripts and analyses of the interviewer's own talk enables novice interviewers' to notice 'small-scale but potentially significant elements of the interaction' (Mann, 2016: 260), how such smaller features can be developed as a topic of analysis providing methodological insights. Most importantly, the findings open up fruitful discussion on how to empirically validate the previous methodological literature's prescriptions on what to do (e.g. building rapport with interviewees) by employing micro-analytic and reflective practices to focus on how you have done.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available