Communicative musicality and the mobile interview: a case-based psychosocial approach

Roy, Alastair Neil orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-4807-7352 and Froggett, Lynn orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-8406-6231 (2023) Communicative musicality and the mobile interview: a case-based psychosocial approach. Journal of Psychosocial Studies . pp. 1-19.

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Psychosocial interview-based methodologies have been heavily reliant on what has been long been thought of as a talk-led encounter. Interest in walking as a research method has been driven by the ways in which it alters the research relationship through the kinetic and relational affordances of moving side by side while walking, which also brings place and space into the encounter. However, a walking interview is also an event that occurs in time and, in this article, we explore this temporality through an exploration of the fluctuations of tempo and rhythmicity in a mobile interview group. We draw on theories of communicative musicality, which have focused mainly on parent–infant exchanges, to explore often unconscious dimensions of group communication. We argue that mobile interviews work simultaneously through the temporal/musical and the visual/spatial registers and we develop this theme with reference to a case example taken from a study of the everyday lives of young men accessing an organisation for homeless people. The walking interview allowed for a shared reimagining of a young man’s biography as he escorted us through the scenes, settings and phases of his everyday life. We use this example to consider how the rhythmical aspects of walking together support the communicative musicality of the interview group. Our analysis provides a window onto the unspoken aspects of the interview process which significantly affect our interpretation.

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