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Decisions at a crossroads: choosing between interviews and focus groups in research on identity in relation to ethnicity/'race' and old age
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, NISAL - National Institute for the Study of Ageing and Later Life. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2011 (English)In: 11th Thinking Qualitatively Workshop Series, International Institute for Qualitative Methodology, University of Alberta, 20-24 June 2011 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 2011Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper is concerned with the issue of how to empirically approach questions of identity when identity theoretically is understood as negotiated and situationally defined. Discussing this question in relation to the decision making process in an ongoing dissertation project, the benefits and limitations of interviews on the one hand and focus groups on the other will be explored and discussed. The project in focus is interested in how identity is negotiated in relation to both old age and ethnicity/’race’; the question of when (in which situations), and in relation to whom, old age and ethnicity/’race’ (respectively) become relevant for identity is of particular concern. The openness in which this question is framed rules out e.g. ethnography as this would pre-define the setting; hence individual and focus group interviews are the options under consideration. The question of the role of social positions such as gender, class, ethnicity/’race’ and age in the interviewer-interviewee relationship will also be addressed since it is of central concern in both approaches. Considering some of the methodological complexities and challenges thus posed in this (and similar) research project(s), the paper concludes with reflections on how these may be overcome so as to make it possible to conduct research on identity as negotiated and situationally defined.

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Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-72184OAI: diva2:458026
Available from: 2011-11-21 Created: 2011-11-21 Last updated: 2011-11-30

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Machat-From, Laura
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NISAL - National Institute for the Study of Ageing and Later LifeFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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ReferencesLink to record
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