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Interviewing men: Vulnerabilities and dilemmas



In stark contrast to the ready availability of sophisticated analyses of woman-to-woman interviews, insights into the character of woman-to-man interviewing are disappointingly rare. This paper seeks, therefore, to stimulate debate on this terrain. The female author draws on her experiences of discussing workplace harassment with male informants to reflect upon her impressions of discussing sexualised topics in the context of gendered interview dynamics. The article focuses on interviewer vulnerability. For the very nature of a one-off interview means that the interviewer has no prior knowledge of her informant against which she can judge whether or not to feel threatened by the prospect of interacting with him in the private setting of the interview. In response to the underplaying of this concern in existing discussions of interviewing, the author details her own repertoire of personal safety strategies and analyses the dilemmas regarding control, rapport, and reciprocity that arose from these tactics. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd

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