Transcription Politics

I am busily working on transcription–my first foray into this process (complete with new recorder and foot pedal), and have already had the benefit of encountering some of the politics around transcription.

Politics, you think?

I started to think about this when there were pauses (not recorded, if we are literal), changes in thought mid-sentence (which in a written transcript seems like a scattered and brainless mess, though happens all the time in our common discussion), grammatical errors (do we embaress the participants by showing them what they actually said), chuckles, changes in tone and energy, body language, and the like. So many factors to consider, that I have started to think that an audio interview, while capturing what is said, may not adequately capture what is meant.

When sharing this with some colleagues, I was surprised to hear how uncritically or at time literal people could be, as if these issues were assumed to be outside of the research process, and should not be explored. Odd response from qualitative researchers, to say the least.

Into the literature I go yet again for some guidance on how to handle these . . .