Gender, interviews , newspaper and successful migrants
Women's Studies Åbo Akademi University Åbo, Finland
Journalist interviews with migrants
Feminist scholars have problematised the power asymmetries and the lack of reflection on interviewing in mainstream research. What kind of contribution to interview studies does feminist criticism offer? If there are methodological issues to address in research interviews, what about non-scientific ones? Can they be used as research data? If yes, what problems may occur? This paper problematises interviews in newspapers and magazines which are everyday reading but seldom discussed from a methodological point of view. While most texts on interviews address questions on how to do the interview, this paper gives examples of ways of analysing them and focuses on how theoretical questions shape the analysis.
The paper deals with journalist interviews with Swedish-speaking Finns, who have migrated to Sweden and who are working in the cultural field. I argue that migration studies benefit from paying attention to different types of migrants and to various social contexts. Not all migrants are extremely poor or arriving in an unfamiliar cultural context. Whereas the European public debate often considers migration as a problem, this paper concentrates on migrants who successfully contribute to cultural fields.
The paper draws on insights from a research project on integrated research methods in Gender and Migration Studies called Research Integration. The project showed how different research methods can lead to the illumination of the phenomenon of migration from very different angles. The participants of the project represented eight different countries (Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the UK). The analysed methods in Gender and Migration Studies were biographical methods, archival research, discourse analysis, phenomenological approaches, narrative methods, quantitative methods, visual methodologies, ethnographic approaches in addition to interviewing.