The fabric of certainty
This chapter concerns the tactic of “ignoring uncertainty” that takes place during research interviewing. Drawing on extent research on research interviews as an interactive phenomenon, we contend that most micro-actions implied in scientific practices are purifying activities aimed to clean discursive data from uncertainty-marks and relativization cues. By analysing a collection of question/answer sequences from a telephone survey, we shows how the interviewer-in-the-field and the analyst-at-the-desk ignore these uncertainty markers as much as possible and turn almost every utterance into a declarative statement. We contend that these techniques of knowledge produce one of the culturally relevant traits of scientific knowledge: certainty. They therefore serve the purpose of nourishing our enduring positivistic vision of (scientific) knowledge as a mirror of reality.