Concerns and hopes about interviewing Chris

My interview with Chris is quickly approaching and I am starting to feel slightly nervous and excited about conducting it.

I am intending on listening to her life story and to cover these themes:

*Childhood- early memories, parents, siblings, schooling etc

*Adolescence- first job, leisure activities etc

*Her employment during the Second World War and subsequent career especially her work abroad

*Relationships- courtship, marriage, friendships, issues and resolutions

*Family life- her role as a mother/wife

*Social status- role in the community, her value of appearing respectable

*Absences in her life- loss through death/maturing of children/old age

I am certain many more themes will emerge as the interview occurs which I find is an exciting prospect. I am currently reading about women’s generalised experience in twentieth century Britain and more specifically on relationships, careers and war experiences in oral history interviews as well as other forms of research.

My main concerns about conducting the interview are that during the interview I might miss important potential lines of enquiry which might aid me to further understand Chris’ experience.  I want to allow her to control the subject matter of the interview as long as it is not simply anecdotal to determine what experiences during her life she places high significance on.  I will need to concentrate not only on what she says but on her tone and her silences to determine if there is more to be gained through careful probing around a particular topic.  I do not want to make her feel uncomfortable by probing excessively but at the same time I would like to understand more about her emotions and decision making during her lifetime, especially around her career, family life and relationships and her experiences during the war.

I am looking forward to talking to her and hope that she feels the same way!


One Comment on “Concerns and hopes about interviewing Chris”

  1. Graham Smith says:

    If you miss things you can always go back. I’d never try to undertake an interview in one session unless there were very good reasons for doing so. Interviewing means commitment and it is obvious from the concerns you raise that you are thinking a great deal about the interview, which I think bodes well.

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