Troubled conception: negotiating the likelihood of having children

2017-05-03T01:45:11Z (GMT) by May, Marian
In the context of low fertility and Australias ageing population, a national longitudinal telephone survey, Negotiating the Life Course (NLC), asks women about their childbearing intentions. This paper uses conversation analysis (CA) to examine interaction between an interviewer and respondents on one NLC question about the likelihood of having children, Question 165. The analysis focuses on excerpts from troubled interviews, making transparent the task of negotiating responses acceptable to the interviewer and shedding light on problems inherent in the question for older women and women for whom prediction is difficult. Analysis shows the trouble to result from lack of congruence in the purposes of the researcher and the respondent: the researcher asks about likelihood, whereas the respondent tells her own story. Copyright 2007 Marian May. No part of this article may be reproduced by any means without the written consent of the publisher.