Women Social Activists of Atlantic Canada: Profiles of Wisdom
Note: Probes were used extensively to follow the interviewee's thinking as she narrated anecdotes in order to arrive at new insights or underline earlier lessons. The sequence below acted as a guideline and was often adapted to take advantage of the interviewee's thinking routes. As interviewer, I had freedom to be somewhat flexible, since the final result would be an integrative profile of a certain word length, not a clean, final, full transcript that is not easily processed by readers. The interview guide was sent out well before the interview and contained space for the interviewee's notes. Interviewer: Dr. Liz Burge
- Let's begin with the key social activism issue for you over the years—the one claiming much of your energy:
- How would you name it?
- Who or what triggered your interest in it?
- How did you begin your activity on this issue? [Then, extensive probing about what actually happened]
- Has your activity changed much over the decades?
- You must have faced some challenges over the years in being active around this issue. Do any stand out for you? Let's begin with the first challenge you mentioned:
- What was it?
- How did you manage it?
- Any other challenges you would like to talk about?
- Are there other activism projects of yours that you'd like to reflect upon? [Then similar question set]
- Generally, what have been some high points during your activity? Low points?
- Regarding the lessons you've learned from social activism: you've mentioned a few already. [Lessons may be repeated and clarified as required] Are there any others?
- The skills you think are needed for effective activism: what is on your list?
- Is there anything that you wish you'd learned before you began work as a social activist?
- Imagine you're in a room with some younger women thinking about getting involved with social activism. Might you have advice from your own experience to pass on?
- How would you like to be remembered as an activist?
- Anything else you'd like to say before you end the interview?
[Explain next steps for her checking of the transcript and thank the interviewee.] Thank you so much!