miércoles, octubre 20, 2010

On the origin of the interview

Interviews are a distinct form of social encounter. They differ from ordinary conversation and the more coercive process of interrogation by dint of the institutional framework in which they occur and the specific protocols or guidelines that structure them. Interviews occur in anthropological or sociological field work; they go by the name of the “case history” in medicine and social welfare; in psychoanalysis, they take the form of the therapeutic session; in law the interview becomes the pre-trial process of “discovery” and, during trials, testimony; on television, it forms the backbone of talk shows; in journalism, it takes the form of both the interview and the press conference; and in education, it appears as Socratic dialogue. Michel Foucault argues that these forms all involve regulated forms of exchange, with an uneven distribution of power between client and institutional practitioner, and that they have their root in the religious tradition of the confessional.

- From Introduction to documentary. Bill Nichols. 2001.

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