Interviews (structured, unstructured and group)

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  • Interviews (structured, unstructured and group)
    • structured interviews
      • like face- face questionnaires
      • asks interviewees same questions in same order
      • inflexible
      • strengths
        • easy to analyse- put in graphs, make correlations/ comparisons
          • quantitative data
        • useful for positivists
        • quick, cheap and easy
        • easily replicated- reliable
      • weaknesses
        • inflexible- cant be changed or more questions added
        • interviewer bias- social desirability
        • lack detail, objective
        • not useful for interpretivists- cant gain verstehen
      • The british crime survey
    • unstructured interviews
      • flexible. may have topics to speak about but can do it in any order
      • more like a formal conversation
      • strenghts
        • talk at length in a relaxed setting
        • in depth qualitative and valid data to gain rich understanding
        • can establish rapport
        • questions can be added/ ambiguity can be cleared
      • weaknesses
        • require a skilled interviewer
        • time consuming and expensive
        • need suitable venue
        • difficult to replicate, not reliable
        • subjective, interviewer bias
      • jo van every- refusing to be a housewife- spoke to liberated housewives
    • group interviews
      • always unstructured
      • interviewee is part of a group of people being studied
      • strengths
        • more likely to tell the truth- less shy/ inhibited
        • qualitative data- useful for interpretivists
        • informal- less chance of distress
        • can clear ambiguity
      • weaknesses
        • social desirabilty
        • requires a skilled interviewer
        • researcher bias
        • not useful for positivists- hard to analyse data


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