Qualitative Research Interviewing is unique in its conceptual coherence and the level of practical detail that it offers to the beginning social researcher. It provides a comprehensive resource for those concerned with the practice of semi-structured interviewing, the most commonly used interview approach in social research, and in particular for depth, biographic narrative interviewing, the interview methods of choice in qualitative research. It covers the full range of practices from the identification of topics through to strategies for writing up research findings in diverse ways.
The first part describes a coherent conceptual framework for understanding semi-structured and biographic narrative interviewing. It uses examples of good and bad practice from both published research and work by students and field researchers to clarify the following issues:
- The purpose of research
- The development of research questions
- The initial design of interview questions for differently-constructed interview sessions, including follow-up questions
- Generating narrative questions and note-taking
- Choices of random or theory-driven 'samples' of informants
- Managing contact during, and after interviews.
The second part deals with data analysis and writing up. The philosophy and politics of transcribing, coding and interpretation are dealt with in a highly practical way and the complex procedure of biographic-narrative interpretation -distinguishing lived life from told story - is described and illustrated in an accessible way.
The final sections deal with theorising and the writing up of a range of interview reports using a variety of textual strategies. Examples of good and bad practice from student and published research are included throughout.
Qualitative Research Interviewing is a unique and indispensable resource for learning the art and craft of a wide spectrum of methods and approaches in interview based research.