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Early Stage Researchers participate in Interview Analysis Workshop at the German Historical Institut

ESRs Lisa Haberkern, Boniface Ojok, Oskars Gruziņš, Amra Delic, Michal Korhel, Christian Pipal, Saskia Mitreuter, Kanako Kuramitsu, Nastassia Sersté, Eva Käuper and Lukas Schretter participated in the first CHIBOW Interview Analysis Workshop, which took place at the German Historical Institute in Warsaw on 26 September 2016. The workshop was organised by ESR Jakub Gałęziowski, who currently is on a secondment at the Institute. Led by prof. Kaja Kaźmierska and dr. Katarzyna Waniek from the University of Lodz, two experts in the field of Biographical Studies, the Interview Analysis Workshop provided an opportunity to continue a discussion about different interviewing methods and interview analysis strategies that had already started at the Advanced Training Courses held in Graz and Den Bosch.

The workshop started with a lecture by prof. Kaźmierska and dr. Waniek on the narrative interview analysis method, which had been developed by the German sociologist Fritz Schütze in the 1970s. As an interview technique, the narrative interview is classified among the qualitative research methods and considered a specific form of an in-depth biographical interview. It consists of a number of rules and envisages an interview setting which encourages the informant to tell his or her life story without interruptions, questions, or comments. Beyond the question–answer scheme, the interview is not directed towards testing a hypothesis. Rather, the proposed steps for analysing a life story collected through this method aim at developing ideas about the theories and explanations that the informant holds about him or herself.

Following the introduction, the workshop participants discussed transcripts of interviews that had been conducted by ESRs Saskia Mitreuter, Kanako Kuramitsu, and Lukas Schretter. First, the circumstances were being discussed, in which the life stories had been collected, and how they shaped the style of the interviews. Second, the experts and ESRs reflected upon the role of the interviewers and to what extent other factors, such as translators, may have influenced the interview narratives. In the workshop, examining these case studies and interview transcripts furthermore proved to be a useful basis for discussing which of the ESRs’ research projects on Children Born of War could benefit from conducting and analysing narrative interviews.

The programme for the event will soon be available on the websites training page

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