Finding cultural harmony in interviewing: the wisdom of the middle way

Lee, Myra C. Y (2016) Finding cultural harmony in interviewing: the wisdom of the middle way. International Journal of Research and Method in Education, 39 1: 38-57. doi:10.1080/1743727X.2015.1019455

Author Lee, Myra C. Y
Title Finding cultural harmony in interviewing: the wisdom of the middle way
Journal name International Journal of Research and Method in Education   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1743-7288
Publication date 2016-01-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/1743727X.2015.1019455
Volume 39
Issue 1
Start page 38
End page 57
Total pages 20
Place of publication Abingdon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Abstract Insider-researchers are said to enjoy many advantages during the interview process that help them to access the innermost thoughts of participants. As a Chinese doctoral student interviewing other Chinese doctoral students, I assumed I was an insider. However, my experiences proved otherwise, as I oscillated between insider and outsider positions. At the core of the matter was the question of a common Chinese identity, which has been complicated by centuries of diaspora. In trying to reconcile the confusion, a Middle Way approach to integrating opposites proved useful, by acknowledging that while indigenous differences exist, there are also common humanistic elements within all cultures. Based on narrative reflections from the doctoral study's interviews and research diary, the paper critically reflects on moments of cultural proximity and cultural distance during the interview process. The paper problematizes the insider/outsider dichotomy and proposes relationalism in its place. The paper concludes that a respect for face and harmony were crucial in closing cultural distance with Chinese international students, as these resulted in trust and rapport building during interviews. It is hoped that this paper will serve as a cultural bridge to engender an understanding of interviewing across a pan-Chinese sample.
Keyword Insiders
Confucian Heritage Cultures
Cross-cultural communications
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Education Publications
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