|Title||Qualitative interviewing and epistemics|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, conversation analysis, epistemics, knowledge claims, qualitative interviews, question-answer sequences|
Work on epistemics in conversation analysis (CA) has demonstrated how speakers attend closely to the knowledge claims they and others make and how this shapes interaction. This paper uses work on epistemics in CA to explore how interviewers and interviewees orient to knowledge claims involving the asking and answering of questions. Since research participants are recruited to represent a category identified by the researcher, interviewees are assumed to have greater knowledge relative to the research topic as compared to interviewers, who typically work to demonstrate that they are eager learners about others’ experiences, perceptions and beliefs and so forth. This paper examines sequences from research interviews to focus on the fine-grained work involved in asking questions and making knowledge claims within interviews. Epistemics provides a powerful tool to examine how speakers’ orientations to others’ knowledge claims is central to the interactional work of conducting interviews.