SSH 301 – LECTURE SIX – Interviewing - Chapter 10 - With Quiz.docx

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Social Sciences and Humanities
SSH 301
Tonya Davidson

SSH 301 – LECTURE SIX – Interviewing th Monday, October 28 , 2013 Chapter: 10 OUTLINE:  Interviewing and different research designs  Interview guides and questions  Challenges with interviewing  Oral histories  Focus groups  Online interviews  Interviewing & power relations QUALITATIVE INTERVIEWING:  Less structured and tends to be more open ended  Allows greater freedom to modify and add research ideas once the investigation has begun.  Greater interest in interviewee’s perspectives and concerns.  Interview is driven mainly by the research agenda of the person conducting the interview.  Going off on a tangent is often encouraged Unstructured Interviews:  Interviewer uses memory aid: A small set of self-prompts to investigate certain topics.  Interviewer asks questions that connect to the theme  Interviewer may ask a single question: Interviewee is then allowed to respond freely, with the interviewer pursuing point that seem worth to follow-up. Semi-structured Interviews:  Interviewer has a list of questions (an interview guide) – but interviewee still has a great deal of leeway in deciding how to reply.  Questions may not follow in exact order in the guide and some questions not included on the list may be asked in response to the interviewee.  Used in in-depth interview studies INTERVIEWING AND RESEARCH DESIGN:  Ethnographic Interviews  An in-depth interview study: “a research design where qualitative interviewing is the primary means of data gathering” (Babbie & Benaquisto 2014, p. 328)  Focus group interview/group interviewing  Within a mixed methods research design – ie. Doing a survey which leads to a follow up focus group.  Within photo voice & photo elicitation research designs  Babbie and Benaquisto (2014) give 7 stages in the interviewing process: o Thematizing: You develop the resreach question but you also explain why interviews are the best way for answering the questions. o Designing: What kind of sampling could you use? o Interviewing: Semi-structured or unstructured, what kind of questions are you going to ask? Justify them. o Transcribing: Taking your audio tape and turning it into text  Crucial because your interviews need to be transcribed so that you can analyse them in depth  You need to quote directly from the interview.  It allows the interviewer to learn skills of analysing as they transcribe o Analysing: Analyse all data  Look for themes (how the participants are making sense of your questions) o Verifying: Helps to give research validity  sending a transcript of the interview to the participants to ask them if you are representing what they said (could be the transcript or could be your analysis) they are allows to dispute your analysis o Reporting: Why are you doing this research in the first place? Where do you want it to go? What do you want it to do? Some place to impact? Help people understand the answer to the question? INTERVIEW TALK:  Interviews lead to co-production of knowledge o Some of the skills that are required are about being nice but there are some distinctions. o Teaching people to interview is hard because you learn to do it by having a lot of bad ones.  Both researcher and interviewee learn from and shape the interview o They are being prompted to think about things in a new way.  This is how we understand interviewing to be a collaborative process. o The interviewer should learn enough to ask good questions but not too much because it is about them.  Interviewers should be o More interested than interesting  The biggest mistake is talking too much, when we say little but prompts their interviewee to open up. o About asking them questions to make them the object. o Socially acceptable incompetents (socially acceptable questions)  Might seem obvious questions but getting them to answer it opens up their perspective which is what you are gathering and analysing o Flexible  The interviewer may take the interview in different directions, move with the interviewee and redirect, middle ground, and respond to what they say, don’t just go onto the next question. o Attentive  Listen to answers, will lead to having smooth transitions. INTERVIEW QUESTIONS: Kvale’s 9 types of questions (from Bryman et al)  Introducing questions: Set context, get people comfortable, and don’t just jump into what you’re after.  Follow-up questions: These get the interviewee to elaborate on an answer (e.g. What do you mean by that?) Also, repeating significant words in an answer to stimulate further explanation.  Probing questions: These follow up what has been said through direct questioning (e.g. Can you say something more about that?)  Specifying questions: Refers directly to what was said. Clarification on an event that the subject describes. (e.g. What did you do then?)  Direct questions: Ask them specific questions about their lives. Questions about the subject’s reflection on what has been described. (e.g. Do you feel exploited in your job?) Such questions are better left until later in the interview, in order not to influence the direction of the interview too much.  Indirect questions: Ask about context, and make it more general. Ask questions in a round-about way. Questions about the interveiwee’s view about the perception of others. (e.g. How you do personally find working here for the wages you get? How do you people feel about working here?) Be sure to ask the interviewee for his/her own view.  Structuring questions/statements: Ask short questions – one thing at a time – don’t add leading questions – avoid bias’s/negative terms be open that don’t imply different positions – be very clear/understandable. Shifting to a different topic/issue. (e.g. I would like to move on to a different topic)  Silence: A pause will give the interviewee an opportunity to reflect and amplify an answer; just don’t pause for so long that the interviewee feels embarrassed.  Interpreting questions: Getting clarification that you have interpreted an answer properly. (e.g. Do you mean that your leadership role had to change from one of encouraging others to a more directive one?) o FROM BYMAN ET AL: VIGNETTES/SCENARIOS The Interview Guide:  (Figure 10.1, p. 169)  Lays out what is going to be said  In a unstructured interview you may have cue cards with themes and strategies to get people to talk  In a semi-structured interview there will be specific questions written out in an order (having introduction questions, follow up, etc.  6-12 direct questions, some indirect, scenarios, vignette questions  General research area – specific questions – interview topics – formulate interview questions – revise – pilot study – identify issues – revise – finalize Obstacles:  Unexpected participant behaviour: Must be flexible (eating breakfast, insisting on houses although they are distracting for an interview.  Consequences of research’s actions and subjectivity: The researchers created the problem (e.g. hving confusing instructions/questions, unclear, leading questions, talking to much [general standard for talking should be 80-20]  Phrasing and negotiating questions  Dealing with sensitive issues: Not knowing how to respond to crying, changing topic, offer reassurance, asking questions about sensitive topics. Be upfront so that it is not a surprise Useful/Unuseful Interview Talk:  From Roulston, DeMarrais and Lewis (2003) o Assessments o Formulations o Closed questions Oral Histories:  “A method that uses indepth interviews as a means of gathering data about the past from individuals’ recollections typcailly focusing on specific events or periods of time” (Babbie & Benaquisto 2014, p. 336) Life Histories:  “Subjects are invited to look back in detail across their entire life course, and to report their experiences and how they understand their world” (Bryman et al 2012, p. 167) P. SUGIMAN (2004) “MEMORIES OF INTERNMENT: NARRATING JAPANESE CANADIAN WOMEN’S LIFE STORIES” THE CANADIAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY: Methods:  Interviewed over 50 Nisei women in Canada  Analyzed Japanese Canadian community newspapers  HOW DO SECOND GENERATIONS UNDERSTAND THE EXPERIENCES OF THIS TIME? Findings:  Time: During interview: She found that time was different for them (not as much emphasis)  Domestic loss: They lost their household role and lost their identity (losing dishes, houseware, sewing machine)  Relational memory: Young woman at the time understood though their mothers and relation through others, and compared their pain and suffering.  Redemptive memories: Finding silver linings, happy endings, didn’t want to be presented as victim.  Redeeming Qualities: In her study, she was interested in how people talking. How they said what they said. Some instances they talked freely, sometime they were more timid (this was difficult). We can personalize the experience because we know how it was experience by people there. FOCUS GROUP RESEARCH: Characteristics:  What others say often prompts others  Can produce v. naturalistic conversations about topics in question  “the focus group setting also allows the researcher to examine how people make sense of issues in a collective manner” (Babbie & Benaquisto 2014, p. 334) Group Interaction:  Complementary  Argumentative Pros and Cons  PROS: o Cost effective, time saving o Members may feel less targeted o Produces specific insights through group interaction o Allows researcher to develop an understanding of why people feel the way they do. o Interviewee’s are able to feed off each others reasoning’s and answers, and argue and challenge one another’s view, which produces a more realistic account of what people think (forces them to defend and possibly revise their views).  CONS: o May be impractical o Keeping groups on task is difficult o Lots of transcribing o Negotiating group dynamics o Researcher probably has less control over the proceedings. o Unwidely amount of data is sometimes produced. o Could result in inaudible group recordings because participants may be sitting too far from microphone. o Can take longer to transcribe to identify who said what. o The data may be difficult to analyse: Difficult to find themes and patterns of the discussion. o Difficult to arrange: May be hard to get people to participate, and harder to get them to show up. o Group effect may be a problem: Can have people that are too shy to speak up or too outgoing and hog the stage. Logistics  How many focus groups should be in a study?  How many participants should be in a focus group?  Should the participants know each other or be strangers? FOCUS GROUP ACTIVITY:  TASK  Organize yourselves into groups of four.  Choose a letter from A-B-C-D  Develop: o A research question o Focus group questions  Conduct a 4-5 minute focus group  Write 2 paragraphs o Describing your findings o Discussing mediation challenges ONLINE INTERVIEWING: Pros:  Can access dispersed populations  Cost effective  Transcribing not required; audio recording not required  Anonymity easily guaranteed  Could be easier for shy people  Interviewee’s are able to respond as soon as question is asked.  People who are inaccessible and dispersed are especially suitable for online focus groups.  Able to read answers over and over again if needed, and are more accurate  Interviewees are less influences by others around them, and their characteristics.  No one person has to enter an unsafe environment that they do not feel comfortable in. Cons:  Requires a lot of time  Difficult to establish rapport  Missing a lot of body language  Requires certain technological competencies  Moderating focus groups is more difficult; administrative problems.  Sometimes difficult for participants to participate in larger online groups because of they keyboard skills.  Taking turns in regular conversations is largely side lined.  Replace face to face counterparts  Difficult for interviewers to probe other questions, because questions may not be read or just ignored.  Less spontaneity in responses, b
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