“Would You Decide to Keep the Power?”: Reflexivity on the Interviewer–Interpreter–Interviewee Triad in Interviews with Female Punjabi Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

  • Tessa Sanderson Faculty of Health and Life Sciences University of the West of England Bristol, United Kingdom
  • Kanta Kumar Department of Primary Care Clinical Sciences University of Birmingham Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • Laura Serrant-Green Centre for Health and Social Care Improvement (CHSCI) School of Health and Wellbeing University of Wolverhampton Wolverhampton, United Kingdom

Abstract

This article presents methodological reflections on the different streams of knowledge that are drawn upon during interpreted interviews and the shifts of power between (1) the interviewer, (2) the interpreter/co-researcher, and (3) the interviewee. Interpreters are increasingly seen as active agents in the interview process, and they act as cultural brokers. Interpretation by a nurse researcher introduces further challenges and benefits to the interview dynamic, which was explored through reflexive discussions with an independent researcher. These challenges include conducting interviews in a clinical setting, where the health professional–patient relationship remains active. A modified discourse analysis was used to examine the subject positioning in the interview situation and the power negotiations that ensued. The main conclusion that can be drawn from these reflexive accounts is that the use of different streams of knowledge (experiential, clinical, cultural, and academic) enhanced the interview interaction, and power relations were successfully negotiated to facilitate rapport and data collection. Reflexivity provides an important tool for identifying, and learning from, the challenges and benefits of working with an interpreter, who is also a co-researcher with multiple professional roles.

Author Biographies

Tessa Sanderson, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences University of the West of England Bristol, United Kingdom
Post-doctoral research fellow, Department of Nursing and Midwifery
Kanta Kumar, Department of Primary Care Clinical Sciences University of Birmingham Birmingham, United Kingdom
NIHR Clinical doctoral researcher; Honorary specialist nurse, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust.
Laura Serrant-Green, Centre for Health and Social Care Improvement (CHSCI) School of Health and Wellbeing University of Wolverhampton Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Professor of Community & Public Health Nursing, School of Health and Well-being; Director of Research & Enterprise.
Published
2013-09-30
Section
Articles