As a note: For each participant I used these broad-based questions but also had
expanded conversational subset questions to ask on each of these topics, partially as
backup in case the conversation lost steam.
I did not have to cover this subset questions but wrote it into an expanded conversational
script. Often I did not follow the script but had the material there just in case. For instance,
there were background notes as a way to introduce each participant.
My goal was to let the participant take the conversational lead and I followed as if it were a
dance. That is one reason why all the interviews are so different even though they had a
baseline of similar questions.
Collecting and Interpreting Materials
Data Collection: The Conversations
Based on the relational and dialogic perspective I approached the interviews as
conversations. They were all arranged in advance through phone calls and emails. Since I
was staying at a hotel for all the interviews, the participants were free to meet at my hotel or
be in the comfort of their home. The goal was to have it in a place where they could
unwind and be less distracted. If at all possible, we met beforehand for a meal to catch up
on personal and enjoy ourselves. Though this was not part of the data collection, it helped
with the conversation that constituted the “data” by helping us to reconnect and setting the
stage for what was to come.
Time and Scheduling
I tried to keep the conversations within the allotted two-hour time limit and be respectful of
their busy schedules. The schedules were made in advance through email
correspondence. The goal was to complete all the interviews in the summer, 2010.
When it came to capturing the audio, I am a firm believer in backup and had two sound
recording options. Internally on my Mac, I was able to easily record and store
conversations on Quicktime Pro and it requires minimal technical expertise. In addition, I