Soc_5_Interview_expanded_Oct_9_2007

Soc_5_Interview_expa - Preparing an Interview Project Sociology 5 October 9 2007 Professor Irene Bloemraad REVIEW from last week • Interviewing

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Unformatted text preview: Preparing an Interview Project Sociology 5 October 9, 2007 Professor Irene Bloemraad REVIEW from last week • Interviewing- asking research subjects to provide information about their thoughts, activities, and experiences. We rely on others’ self-reports of feelings, behaviors, reactions and interpretations to better understand the social world. Decisions You Must Make: • Is interviewing data most appropriate? (benefits & drawbacks of self-report data) • What type of interviewing do you want to do and why? Survey, indepth, field. (pros & cons of each) • What sort of questions will you ask? How will you ask them? In what order? • How will you administer the interview? In-person, by phone, by mail, via web, etc. (consider benefits & drawbacks of each) Trade-offs to Interview Data • Gather multiple, sometimes very different viewpoints. • Probe motivations, interpretations, beliefs. • Access past events or experiences we can’t directly access. • Problem of accuracy of reports (recall, social desirable responses, limited knowledge, misunder- standing questions, interviewer effects) • Time-intensive, sometimes costly. Types of Interviewing • Field/ ethnographic interviewing – In participant observation, steering a conversation to topics of research interest • In-depth interviewing- Researcher identifies topics to discuss in advance and interviewee knows that s/he is doing an interview. Interviews usually follow an open-ended, semi- structured format. Respondents can raise unanticipated topics. • survey-based interviewing- All or almost all questions are pre-determined, including order and question wording. Respondents are usually given limited, pre-determined sets of answers from which to choose. Answers tend to be factual and simple. Surveys are usually planned for statistical analysis. In-depth vs Survey Interviewing In-depth Interviews • more detail, individual • process over time • more interpretations • good for exploratory research • (often) cheaper Survey Interviewing • easier comparison • good for factual info. • easy to code • good for “testing” approach, statistics • (often) more expensive Open or Closed Ended Questions? ¾ closed-ended question – researcher provides pre-established, limited answers from which respondents choose. Easier to code, more amendable to statistical analysis. ¾ open-ended question – respondents provide own answer, thereby not pre-judging possible answers. Harder to code and might not be perfectly comparable across interviews. Examples from Waters Closed-ended (1990 Census) • “Fill ONE circle for the race that the person considers himself/herself to be.” O White O Black or Negro [etc.] Open-ended (Waters) • “When forms or surveys ask about race, what do you usually put down?” ¾ “I always want to know why they want to know that.” ¾ “I still put black because in America you are either black, Spanish, or you’re white.” ¾ “I always think of myself as Jamaican. I really never think of color.” In-Person In-depth Interviews:...
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This note was uploaded on 09/22/2008 for the course SOC 5 taught by Professor Bloemraad during the Spring '07 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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Soc_5_Interview_expa - Preparing an Interview Project Sociology 5 October 9 2007 Professor Irene Bloemraad REVIEW from last week • Interviewing

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