Interviewers’ Comments and Invisible Violence about Home

Friday, 20 July 2018: 15:45
Oral Presentation
Stephanie CASSILDE, Centre d'Etudes en Habitat Durable, Belgium
During the data collection processes using questionnaires, space for comments may be provided. It can be related to the evaluation of the process in order to assess the reliability of the answers, but also it can be related to answer details, for example in order to explain the content of the “other” category, which may be chosen among other defined categories. While the purpose of these comments may be clarified while designing the survey, sometimes the delimitation of their content is blurred, in the sense that interviewers may add all the elements they would find useful.

The aim of this article is to analyze this sense of usefulness and its relationship to contemporary power issues. In the 2006-2007 edition of the Housing Quality Survey in Wallonia, such a comments box was available. Overall, it was filled for 1500 questionnaires out of 6018, i.e. 25% of all the questionnaires. They shed light on what interviewers think it is worth and important communicating beyond the content of the dataset. Which is the voice that can be formed on this basis?

These comments may be related to three issues. First, they may be indeed related to precision regarding the survey process. Second, they may be redundant with the content that was coded. Third, they may be judgmental. Beyond this classification of interviewers’ voice, its content reveals an invisible violence of interviewers about the interviewees and their home, while being inside their home.