intimacy 2411

advocacy for oppressed and underserved indivi
duals and groups whom they study, thus moving
away from the traditional sociological goal of
value neutrality and objectivity.
Another important ethical consideration is
the relation and degree of involvement between
researcher and respondents. Whyte (1943) has
recently been accused (by Boelen 1992) of mis
representing and exploiting his respondents,
especially his closest informant, Doc. Having
casual sexual relations with some of the respon
dents (as admitted by Goode 2002) certainly
goes beyond the ethical involvement between
interviewer and respondent.
Interviewing is a very varied methodology,
but it ought to be, since human being are very
complex and find themselves in a myriad of
different vicissitudes. Each and every subtype
of interviewing should be able to get to some
kind of answer, to reach some life description
from the respondents. This is the goal: not
just asking questions, but being able to get
answers meaningful answers.

SEE ALSO: Ethics, Fieldwork; Ethnography;
Key Informant; Methods; Postmodernism;
Quantitative Methods


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Lynn Jamieson

What is imagined by intimacy as a quality
of relationships is often associated with parti
cular ways of behaving (Davis 1973). Intimacy
is sometimes defined narrowly to mean the
familiarity resulting from close association. In
this sense, domestic life across much of the
life course in all societies is intimate. Living
arrangements that involve sharing domestic
space, a hearth and home, the caring activities
associated with bearing and raising children, and
other forms of routinely giving or receiving
physical care necessarily provide familiarity
and privileged knowledge. Sometimes the term
intimacy is also used even more narrowly to
refer to sexual familiarity with another person.
In everyday current usage, intimacy is often
presumed to involve more than close association
and familiarity, for example, also involving
strong emotional attachments such as love.
However, in both popular and academic com
mentaries, intimacy is increasingly understood
as representing a very particular form of clo
seness and being special to another person
founded on self disclosure. This self disclosing
or self expressing intimacy is characterized by
knowledge and understanding of inner selves.