Sociology 2206A/B Chapter Notes -Snowball Sampling, Nonprobability Sampling

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Published on 16 Apr 2013
School
Western University
Department
Sociology
Course
Sociology 2206A/B
Page:
of 2
Ch.11: Qualitative Interviewing
Research Questions Appropriate for Qualitative Interviewing
Qualitative interviewing is separate from field research; field researchers use
qualitative interviewing often in addition to other data collecting techniques
Other names for qualitative interviews: unstructured; semi-structured; in-
depth; ethnographic; open-ended; informal; and long
Involves a mutual sharing of experiences
Researcher retains members narrative stories in their natural form, does not
convert them into standardized format
Focus: study members’ perspective and experiences
Can occur in a series overtime
Researcher must establish intimacy before probing inner feelings
Similarities & Differences between Qualitative Interviews & Friendly Conversations
Has a greeting; absence of explicit goal or purpose; avoidance of repetition;
question asking; expressions of interest; expressions of ignorance; turn
taking (so that the encounter is balanced); use of abbreviations; pauses, brief
silences are acceptable
Qualitative interviews have an explicit purpose that diverges from friendly
conversations
Procedures of Qualitative Interviews
Qualitative researchers rarely have a hypothesis that they are testing; they
have an inductive approach to theorizing and will build a theory from the
evidence that emerges from the interviews they conduct
Sampling in Qualitative
Interview participants recruited through snow-ball and purposive sampling
Vast majority of qualitative research uses non-probability sampling
Purposive sampling: ensures that as much diversity as possible is
incorporated into the sample
Snowball sampling- additional participants are recruited by initial contacts
Hidden populations- refer to people who belong to subcultures whose
members are difficult to locate and therefore difficult to study; researchers
interested in hidden populations rely on qualitative interviewing as a data-
collection technique and non-probability sampling techniques (snowball)
How Many People to Interview?
Qualitative research is used for inductive research (theory is derived from
data)
Theoretical sampling= a researcher does not know in advance how many
individuals he or she needs to interview
o Researcher continues to interview subjects until the same general
themes continue to emerge from the data and no new findings are
being revealed => theoretical saturation
Time and resources available to the researcher dictate how many people will
be used in a qualitative interview

Document Summary

Qualitative interviewing is separate from field research; field researchers use qualitative interviewing often in addition to other data collecting techniques. Other names for qualitative interviews: unstructured; semi-structured; in- depth; ethnographic; open-ended; informal; and long. Researcher retains members narrative stories in their natural form, does not convert them into standardized format. Researcher must establish intimacy before probing inner feelings. Similarities & differences between qualitative interviews & friendly conversations. Has a greeting; absence of explicit goal or purpose; avoidance of repetition; question asking; expressions of interest; expressions of ignorance; turn taking (so that the encounter is balanced); use of abbreviations; pauses, brief silences are acceptable. Qualitative interviews have an explicit purpose that diverges from friendly conversations. Qualitative researchers rarely have a hypothesis that they are testing; they have an inductive approach to theorizing and will build a theory from the evidence that emerges from the interviews they conduct. Interview participants recruited through snow-ball and purposive sampling.