RESEARCHING THE REAL WORLD



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Orientation Observation In-depth interviews Document analysis and semiology Conversation and discourse analysis Secondary Data Surveys Experiments Ethics Research outcomes
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© Lee Harvey 2012–2019

Page updated 25 January, 2019

Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012–2019, Researching the Real World, available at qualityresearchinternational.com/methodology
All rights belong to author.


 

A Guide to Methodology

4. In-depth interviews

4.1 Introduction to in-depth interviewing
4.2 Types of in-depth interview

4.2.1 Unstructured in-depth interviews
4.2.2 Semi-structured in-depth interview
4.2.3 Structured in-depth interview

4.3 Methodological approaches to in-depth interviews
4.4 Doing in-depth interviews
4.5 Analysing in-depth interview data
4.6 Summary and conclusion

4.1 Introduction

4.2.1 Unstructured in-depth interviewing

Unstructured in-depth interviews are sometimes called 'open-ended' interviews or 'ethnographic interviews' and are rather like one-sided conversations.

The interviewer has no predetermined set of specific questions. The respondent is encouraged to talk about particular areas that are of interest to the interviewer. These may be very general, or even quite vague at the outset. The interviewer lets the respondent talk and responds to what is said to keep the interview going.

The aim of this kind of interviewing is to allow respondents to talk about what they see as important. The interviewer then has to guide the conversation onto the areas of interest to the research or probe the taken-for-granteds of the respondent to try and get a better understanding of the way the respondent makes sense of their world (see, for example, CASE STUDY: Distorting the truth).

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