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Attention all social scientists

When you are conducting an interview, it's not about you. You are not the topic and your views are only important if you are doing auto-ethnographic work or using personal experiences to acknowledge possible biases in your research. But if you are conducting interviews, interviews that will provide most of the data for future analysis, then your should not talk more than or as much as your respondents. The interview is not about you, it's about them.

I am currently transcribing an interview and the interviewer is making me want to eat glass. So many of the questions are set up so that they speak for about 2 minutes. Not setting up the question for clarity, but instead talking about themselves or worst yet, telling the respondent what they're trying to accomplish with their study. Telling them answers that other respondents have said. I want to hit them.

It doesn't help that they and their respondents all sound like judgmental hipster douches. And one of them speaks with that God awful vocal fry and I want to gouge my ear drums with a sharp and pointy object.


I can only imagine what their paper is going to be. Maybe I'm just defensive, but I just keep thinking about what my professors said. Social science does not have "hard" data like absolute measurements that the natural sciences have. So we have to be careful when collecting and presenting the data we collect. And telling respondents what you're looking for, to me, is like going to forest to take measurements of the total foot print, assuming that is only 4 square meters, then only measuring out 4 square meters and saying, I was right, it is 4 square meters! Not it isn't, you just forced your data to give the answer you were looking for instead of letting the date lead you to an unknown answer.

Am I wrong? Can someone tell me I'm not just being bitchy because I don't the people in the interview?

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