Interviewees with an agenda – Learning from a 'failed' interview
Summary, in English
Social constructionists consider interviews as mutually co-constructing meaning. But what if the interlocutors do not seem to agree on what they construct? What if the interviewee has a particularly strong agenda, far from the intended research topic? Are these ‘failed’ interviews? We address this issue using a ‘deviant’ interview in a study of ‘being a neighbour’. First, we add to the discussion of interviewees’ category representativeness by acknowledging a situation when the interviewee insists on representing a category not intended by the researcher. Second, we address the notion of asymmetries of power, where it is often assumed that the interviewer has the upper hand. Through this case, we argue that the opposite may well be true. Finally, we argue that cases where the interviewee pursues a strong agenda may suggest new research areas. After all, strong efforts of resistance may indicate deeper cultural concerns.