Interviewing Styles: Reciprocal Positioning and Power in the Israeli Context

Elda Weizman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The present discussionPositioningreciprocal compares two interviewing stylesInterviewing styles, represented by two campaign interviews conducted before the 2021 general elections in Israel. Drawing on a socio-pragmaticSocio-pragmatic analysis of discursive patterns, the political interview is conceptualized as a dialogic interaction, whereby participants reciprocally position themselves explicitly and implicitly vis-à-vis each other. A complex network of interactional and social rolesRolesocial is constructed, and is dynamically negotiated in discourse through challenge and solidarity. The comparison between the interviews indicates that interviewing styles vary from moderate negotiationsNegotiations of the boundaries set by normative expectationsNormative expectations to full-fledged attempts at blurring them. It is shown that interviewing styles depend, to a large extent, on differences in the participants’ cultural background and perceptions of their interactional and social rolesRolesocial. The interviewer strategically accommodates the interviewees’ interactional preferences that are revealed from the outset, and at the same time challenges them at the content level. It is argued that the gap between the symmetrical format and normative expectations encourages complex, second-order positioningPositioningsecond-order, whereas the asymmetrical one ensures a relatively safe enactment of the participants’ roles, but encourages challenging meta-talkMeta-talk of first-order expectations. It is further contended that interviewing norms in the Israeli contextIsraelcontext are more flexible than previously described.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationAdversarial Political Interviewing: Worldwide Perspectives During Polarized Times
EditorsOfer Feldman
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)978-981-19-0576-6
StatePublished - 2022


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