Crossing cultural barriers in research interviewing

Roberta G. Sands, Joretha Bourjolly, Dorit Roer-Strier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


This article critically examines a qualitative research interview in which cultural barriers between a white non-Muslim female interviewer and an African American Muslim interviewee, both from the USA, became evident and were overcome within the same interview. This interview and two follow-up interviews are presented as a 'telling case' about crossing cultural barriers. The analysis focuses on seven phases of the interview (cultural barriers, warming up, crossing the racial barrier, connecting as social workers, connecting as women, connecting as students, and crossing the tape recorder barrier). The discussion outlines the pre-interview and during-interview barriers and facilitating conditions and related implications for cross-cultural qualitative research interviewing.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)353-372
Number of pages20
JournalQualitative Social Work
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • African American
  • Barriers
  • Cross-cultural
  • Interviewing


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