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Department of Geography

Staff Profile

Publication details for Dr Jesse Proudfoot

Proudfoot, J. Interviewing Enjoyment, or the Limits of Discourse. The Professional Geographer. 2010;62:507-518.

Author(s) from Durham


This article addresses how psychoanalytic methodologies can be used to conduct and analyze semistructured interviews. Drawing on my work as a research assistant during the summer of 2006, I discuss the process of interviewing soccer fans who attended televised broadcasts of the FIFA World Cup soccer matches in cafés in Vancouver, British Columbia. The research examined the emotional geographies of nationalism and consumption using the Lacanian psychoanalytic concept of enjoyment. Reflecting on the intersubjective and embodied dimensions of the interview process, this article discusses the difficulties of capturing and conveying interviewees' enjoyment. Specifically, I explore how enjoyment, which is partially extradiscursive, disappears when articulated and represented through speech. I assert that psychoanalytic attempts to methodologically grasp enjoyment must be attentive to not only how subjects represent their enjoyment through discourse but also to their tears, ecstatic chanting, and celebration; that is, to the enactment of enjoyment itself.