Fontana (2001:163) cites Aaron Cicourel (1964) that unveiled the "myth of 'scientific' interviewing" by emphasising the hidden complexity: the implicit decisions, judgements and abstractions made in the process. Fontana (2001:163) points out that according to Cicourel "the interview is an interactional event based on reciprocal stocks of knowledge" and (p. 166) cites Robert Dingwall (1997) who argues that "if the interview is a social encounter, then, logically, it must be analyzed in the same way". The interviewee is not objectified, but a co-member of the communicative partnership.
- In contrast, structured interviewing place the interviewer, as constructive agent, centre stage influencing the outcome.
- The feelings of both interviewer and interviewee, as well as the possibility of deceit need acknowledgement.
- The researcher's potential control of the narrative of what best conveys (in her/his judgement) the social words of those studies must be recognised.
- The editorial authority of the researcher must be recognised.
The aim of the interviewer is to reach a mutual understanding with the interviewee. A dialogic approach is necessary. The different viewpoints of multiple voices should be reflected—highlighting the discrepancies and problems.
Fontana, A. 2001. Postmodern trends in interviewing. In Gubrium, J.F. & Holstein, A. (Eds) 2001. Handbook of interview research, context and method. Thousand Oaks: Sage.