SOCB05H3 Chapter Notes -Focus Group

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Published on 10 Jul 2012
School
UTSC
Department
Sociology
Course
SOCB05H3
Professor
SOCB05 NOTES: Chapter 12 Qualitative Interviewing
Three interview-based methods of research:
In-depth interview studies
o where qualitative interviewing is the primary means of data gathering
Focus group interviews
o When a number of people are brought together in a lab-type setting to be interviewed
together
Oral history
o Method of qualitative interviewing concerning in-depth interviews focusing on
recollections of the past
Qualitative Depth Interviewing
- “Depth interviewing involves asking open-ended questions, listening to and recording the
answers, and then following up w/ additional relevant questions… Beneath the surface,
interviewing becomes an art and science requiring skill, sensitivity, concentration, interpersonal
understanding, insight, mental acuity, and discipline.”
- Unlike interviewing in survey research, qualitative interviews are much less structured or no
structure at all. Qualitative interviewing design is flexible, iterative, and continuous rather than
prepared in advance. The continuous nature of qualitative interviewing means that the
questioning is redesigned throughout the project.
- A qualitative interview is an interaction between interviewer and respondent. Interviewer has a
general plan of inquiry w/out a rigid set of questions nor particular words or order. A general
direction for the conversation is established and when specific topics are raised by the
respondent, they can be further pursued.
o Qualitative interview: In contrast to a survey interview, a qualitative interview allows
the researcher to pursue issues in depth and gives the respondent more freedom to
direct the flow of conversation. The researcher typically has a general plan of inquiry but
not a standardized set of questions that might be rigidly followed.
- The degree of direction supplied by the interview varies from a general set of questions or topics
the researcher wishes to cover in each interview to a very unstructured conversation guided by
interviewer
- Wording questions is tricky! Often, the way we ask questions subtly biases the answers we get.
Sometimes, we put our respondent under pressure to look good.
-
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Document Summary

In-depth interview studies: where qualitative interviewing is the primary means of data gathering. Focus group interviews: when a number of people are brought together in a lab-type setting to be interviewed together. Oral history: method of qualitative interviewing concerning in-depth interviews focusing on recollections of the past. Unlike interviewing in survey research, qualitative interviews are much less structured or no structure at all. Qualitative interviewing design is flexible, iterative, and continuous rather than prepared in advance. The continuous nature of qualitative interviewing means that the questioning is redesigned throughout the project. A qualitative interview is an interaction between interviewer and respondent. Interviewer has a general plan of inquiry w/out a rigid set of questions nor particular words or order. The researcher typically has a general plan of inquiry but not a standardized set of questions that might be rigidly followed.

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