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Workshop conducted by Ruthellen Josselson (Fielding Fraduate University) and Amia Lieblich (Hebrew University of Jerusalem).

Interviewing for Narrative Research

Narrative interviewing has as its aim an in-depth understanding of another person and attempts to understand what is not said as well as what is.  The goal of this workshop will be to reflect upon and to improve skills as interviewers in the context of narrative research.  While there will be some didactic material, most of the workshop will be spent in experience.

In this workshop, structured to last 6 hours, we will take up the problems of orienting to the interview through a clear conceptualization of the research question and we will consider the interrelationship between the theoretical context that frames the research and the actual interaction in the interview with the participant. Taking a close look at the interview itself, we will focus on understanding the interpersonal process, thinking about the data, and talking about the problems inherent in communicating the results of what we have learned.  Throughout, we will keep in mind the question: What does it mean to know another person?  We will also discuss various approaches to doing life history interviews.

Each workshop member should be prepared both to interview other people and also to be a participant in an interview. Participants should come to the workshop having completed the assigned readings and also outfitted with a recording device.

The workshop can accommodate up to 30 participants.

If possible, participants are encouraged to read Ruthellen Josselson’s book, Interviewing for Qualitative Inquiry: A Relational Approach (available for download or from Amazon).

Biography Ruthellen Josselson

Ruthellen Josselson (see picture below), Ph.D. is Professor of clinical psychology at The Fielding Graduate University. She was formerly a Professor at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a visiting Professor at Harvard University School of Education and a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University. She is a co-founder of the Society for Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology,  co-edited eleven volumes of The Narrative Study of Lives and is the founding and ongoing editor of the Journal, Qualitative Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association. She received the Henry A. Murray Award and the Theodore R. Sarbin Award and is about to receive the Distinguished Contribution to Qualitative Research from the American Psychological Association as well as a Fulbright Fellowship. She is the author of  Interviewing for Qualitative Inquiry: A Relational Approach . She has recently published a book, Paths to Fulfillment: Women’s Search for Meaning and Identity, based on a 35-year longitudinal, interview-based study of women’s identity. 

 Ruthellen Josselson

Biography Amia Lieblich

Amia Lieblich (see picture below), Ph.D. is a professor emerita of Psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, presently the president of The Academic College for Society and the Arts (Israel) and one of the pioneer scholars of narrative research. She has done numerous studies using interviews to explore life-stories and community oral history. She co-founded and co-edited the series The Narrative Study of Lives and gave numerous classes and workshops in narrative interviewing.  She lives in Israel, is a well known writer in Hebrew, and many of her books have been translated into English. One of these Narratives of Positive Aging: Seaside Stories,  was published in the Oxford University Press Explorations in Narrative series. Her book with Rivka Tuval-Mashiach, Narrative Research: Reading, Analysis, and Interpretation, has become a classic text.  Her recent narrative research focused on “new poverty” and “befriending our death”.

 Amia Lieblich