CMN 3103: Lecture #5 Sept 17 2013
Chapter 4 – A Dramaturgical Look at Interviewing
September 24, 2013
Types of Interviews
Standardized interviews: formally structured in terms of the process. It formats itself in a very standardized
protocol. Every aspect is planned for.
Semistandardized Interview: Guided or focused. There’s some structure but isn’t very rigid. Depending on
the respondent, you may have to go into different directions. You’re adapting to the respondent as you go.
Meaning you may add some questions to the questions you already have planned.
Unstandardized: Informal or nondirective. The interviewer just goes with the flow.
Styles of Questions
Essential questions: Exclusively concern the central focus of the study.
Extra questions: Check reliability, as a way of cross checking information collected through the essential
Throwaway questions: Develop rapport, set pace or change the focus.
Probing questions: Draw more complete stories.
Questions to Avoid
Affectively worded questions: Generally we have to be careful with the way we word our questions in order
to avoid producing a negative emotional response. A good way to make sure a question is appropriate for
an interview is to run the questions by someone else first.
Double Barreled Questions: Asks for response to two issues in a single question. Don’t ask a question that
brings into account more than one aspects. Ask a single question for each aspect separately.
Complex Questions: Long or involved questions.
Reduced staff requirements
Widespread geographic areas
Can be recorded Disadvantages
Subjects with no telephone
Loss of visual cues
Computer Assisted Interviewing
Can skip transcription
Provides an added sense of anonymity
Loss of visual cues
Responses can be recorded by the interviewer or the subject
Poor typing skills or lack of reading ability may affect data
Synchronous Environments: Realtime chat rooms, instant messenger protocols, realtime threaded
Asynchronus Environments: Emails, message boards, privately hosted bulleting posting areas.
Building Rapport: Establish common ground. Appearance and demeanor.
Social Interpretations: Nonverbal channels (i.e. body gestures, signs, phonemic sounds).
When talking about the dramaturgical approach, we’re talking about in person interviews because we look
at nonverbal gestures, etc. Roles of the Interviewer
Actor: Recite scripted lines (interview questions), remain nonjudgmental
Director: Perform lines and assess the performance
Choreographer: Control the interview process. We have to be sure to determine a good level of control
because if we have too much control, the data we’d get would be flawed.