"Når alderen indhenter én": Semiotisk inspiration i analysen af kvalitative interviews om kropslighed og aldring

  • Mette Krogh Christensen
Keywords: Interviews


Mette Krogh Christensen: “When age catches up on you“: A semiologically inspired analysis of qualitative interviews about body and aging Qualitative interviews are being increasingly used in the social sciences and this development challenges certain methodological viewpoints and traditions. This article discusses the ways in which we formulate and interpret verbal expressions about bodily awareness of aging as cultural categories (Bourdieu 1986, 1997; Jensen 1993). It is based on 12 qualitative research interviews carried out as a part of a Ph.D. project about body and aging among physical education teachers. Human beings are speaking bodies, and language is a particularly important condition, which shapes our life-world (Brandt 2003; Kvale 1997). Language is a kind of evaluation, reduction or avowal of experienced phenomena such as the aging body. The spoken word, as it appears as text in qualitative research interviews, can be analysed in many ways. One of the less explored ways is a semiological approach to meaning-interpretation inspired by mapping theory (Fauconnier 1997; Lakoff & Johnson 1980, 1999). The analyses in the article show that this particular approach may provide fruitful inspiration for sociology if the qualitative research interview concerns a relatively non-verbal phenomenon such as body and age. The semiological approach may accentuate the close relationship between language, verbal expressions and the social life of the body when we study it as a cultural category.