Sociology - Unstructured Interviews

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  • Created by: Iqra
  • Created on: 18-12-12 19:12
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  • Unstructured Interviews
    • Open ended questions. The interviewer is free to vary the questions or wording.
    • Group interviews are relatively unstructured. The researcher may ask the group to discuss topics and then record their views
    • Interviewer can form rapport and empathy, encouraging the responder.
    • Training needs to be thorough, interviewers need sociological insight and good interpersonal skills
    • Long, reduces sample size
    • Large amounts of data, hard to analysis and categorisation difficult
    • Flexible, new hypotheses can be developed and tested while the interview is going on.
    • Useful when the subject is unknown, due to open and exploratory questions.
    • Due to no pre set questions, the researcher can speak about things they believe to be important.
    • Interpretivism
      • Produce valid data
      • Understanding comes through involvement.
      • We should approach all research with an open mind in order to discover the truth.
      • Can raise issues, this then helps probe the interviewees thoughts.
      • Open ended questions means the responder can express themselves in their own words, revealing their true meanings.
    • Positivism
      • Not reliable as they do not use standardized MI
      • Harder to quantify and categorise
      • Sample sizes are often small, hard to generalise
      • Interaction undermines validity
    • Interviews as social constructs!!!
      • Social interaction undermines validuty
      • 1. Status differences may affect honesty or cooperation.
      • 2. Cultural differences may lead to misunderstanding of certain words
      • 3. Social desirability  false answers may be provided to seem more interesting.
      • 4. Bias - There may be 'leading' questions to influence answers


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