Intercultural Communication in Research Interviews: Accessing Information from Research Participants from Another Culture

Vanessa Wijngaarden (1)
(1) Department of Communication Studies, School of Communication, Faculty of Humanities, PO Box 524, Auckland Park 2006, Johannesburg, South Africa , South Africa

Abstract

Much research is done across cultural divides and necessarily relies on intercultural communication. However, existing practical guidelines for interviewing generally remain blind to the culture of the interviewer in relation to the interviewees. This affects the quantity and quality of the data collected from research participants who do not share the cultural or socio-economic background of the researcher. I address the implications of doing interviews that cross a cultural gap, showing how the researcher can step into the shoes of the Other and create cross-cutting ties. These practical solutions toward common pitfalls in intercultural research situations form a next step in reaction to a growing body of literature that critically reflects on how interviews are located in social contexts.

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Authors

Vanessa Wijngaarden
vanessa.wijngaarden@gmail.com (Primary Contact)
Author Biography

Vanessa Wijngaarden, Department of Communication Studies, School of Communication, Faculty of Humanities, PO Box 524, Auckland Park 2006, Johannesburg, South Africa

Dr. Vanessa Wijngaarden holds cum laude BA and MA degrees in both political science (international relations) and cultural anthropology (with specialization in sub-Saharan Africa) from the University of Amsterdam. For her PhD in social anthropology, she spent more than a year in the field engaging in a double-sided ethnography on the interplay between imagery and interactions in cultural tourism encounters between tourists and Maasai in Tanzania. She has contributed to innovative methodological and epistemological debates in anthropology and tourism studies. She works as a certified ATLAS.ti professional trainer and Q method consultant. She is currently associated with the University of Johannesburg, engaging in a research project comparing non-verbal human-animal communication in societies in Europe and Africa.

Wijngaarden, V. (2020). Intercultural Communication in Research Interviews: Accessing Information from Research Participants from Another Culture . Journal of Intercultural Communication, 20(2), 89–101. https://doi.org/10.36923/jicc.v20i2.307

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