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Conflict or Concert? Extending the Simmelian Triad to Account for Positive Third Party Presence in Face-to-Face Interviews with People Living with Parkinson’s Disease

Author(s): Jacqueline Low

Journal: Societies
ISSN 2075-4698

Volume: 2;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 210;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: third party presence | the triad | Georg Simmel

A number of sociologists and other researchers have focused on the role of third parties since Simmel’s seminal conceptualization of the social organization of the triad. However, less attention has been given to third party presence in qualitative interviews, despite the fact that third party participation in interviews with people with chronic illness and/or disability occurs frequently. Here too it is assumed that third party presence promotes conflict, ignoring the role of third parties as facilitators who enable informants to articulate their perspectives. Therefore, I focus on Simmel’s concept of the triad, concluding that the role of facilitator must be added to the types he describes.
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