Chileans in Exile: Private Struggles, Public Lives by Diana Kay

Specific Demographics

By Diana Kay

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Extra info for Chileans in Exile: Private Struggles, Public Lives

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In total I interviewed thirty-five people - eighteen men and seventeen women. At the time of interview the group was made up of fourteen married pairs where both partners participated; one married pair where the woman only participated; two men and two women (unrelated) whose marriages had broken down in exile and two bachelors. Age-wise the sample ranged from several women in their early twenties to a few men in their fifties and early sixties. The majority of the sample were in their late twenties, thirties or early forties.

Many men attempted to monitor the research by finding out whom I was seeing amongst their political rivals. They would draw my attention to published articles which supported their point of view and spend time discrediting the political line of their opponents. If the men were more rehearsed in talking about their public lives, they were on visibly less firm ground when asked about the private sphere. They would deflect or evade my questions concerning their home lives. Others regarded this line of questioning as a waste of vital interview space which they could be using to put over their political concerns.

In most cases I took notes during the interview, making a particular effort to jot down key phrases and words verbatim. In order to recapture something of the vibrancy and flavour of the accounts, I have translated my notes back into direct speech, remaining as faithful as possible to the original statement. The interviews took the form of a series of open-ended questions around selected topic areas. Unlike the standard one-off interview, multiple visits build up a relationship between the researcher and interviewee.

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