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Lecture 8

Lecture 8: Interactive Empirical Methods - Interviews

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCB05H3
Professor
Katie Stuart- Lahman
Semester
Summer

Description
SOCB05 – Lecture 8 – July 4 2013 Interactive Empirical Methods: Interviews Guest Lecturer: Katelin Albert Quantitative Approaches  Positivism: Deductive o Emphasizes that there is a single objective truth that can be discovered by science o Research methods structured, replicable experimental. Results are quantifiable o Encourages us to regard the world as a rational, ordered place wit ha clearly defined past, present and future. Qualitative Approaches  Non-Positivistic – Interpretive: Inductive o Knowledge influenced by multiple realities, sensitive to context, research aims to uncover the meaning of the phenomena o Researcher is a co-creator of meaning, brings own subjective experience to the research, methods try to capture insider knowledge, research conducted in natural settings o Stresses the importance of symbolic, subjective experience Qualitative Research  Why Qualitative Research? o It involves finding out what people think, how they feel, and what people know o Or what they say they think and how they say they feel  Why is this useful? o Attempting to make sense of, or interpret phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them. Interview Techniques  4 Main Types of Interviews o Telephone Interview  Advantages  Collect large data sets  Cost less money  Can hire researchers to do the phone calls  Allows you to do a random sample  Random Digit Dialling: Allows you to have access to those who aren’t listed in the phone book.  Higher response rate  Allows for clarifications  Limitations  No visual ques and might not get their full attention.  Structured questions with few answers  Who is at home?  If you call, how long will people be willing to talk.  More superficial  Limited scope and direct questions  People wary. o In-Person Interview  Advantages  High participation rates  Quality of data collected is in the researchers hands. They can make sure that they find what they want.  Literacy not a barrier.  Can access people who don’t speak the language very well, or cant write.  Longer and more detail  In context  Humanizing. People feel important because you are asking about what they have experienced.  Limitations  Timely and costly  Generalizability?  May not be the goal  Reactive Bias  The idea that when someone is giving visual cues during interviews by saying things that make the participants think that they are saying the things the researcher wants to hear.  Both  Smaller Data Set  Good because you don’t always need to talk to big groups.  Bad because you cannot generalize your data.  Collect Own Data  Types of In-Person Interviews  Structured  Not used very often, because it’d be the same thing as doing a survey but spending way more money.  Semi-Structured  Most favoured because it allows for some comparability  You have a guideline of questions you’d like to ask, but let it take you where
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