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Interviews for Qualitative Data Generation

Alenka Jelen
alenka.jelen@stir.ac.uk

University of Stirling

Alenka is Senior Lecturer at the University of Stirling. She holds a PhD in Sociology-Communication Sciences from the University of Ljubljana.

She has extensive international experience in interview research and teaching, and has been an ECPR Instructor since 2008.

Her research interests are in public relations, health and political communication, with a focus on academic development, gender, loss and intersections between media and politics.

  @alenkajelen

Course Dates and Times

Monday 9 ꟷ Friday 13 August 2021
2 hours of live teaching per day
10:00 ꟷ12:30 CET

Prerequisite Knowledge

You should know and understand the ontological, epistemological and theoretical underpinnings of qualitative research. 

You are recommended, but not required, to bring your own research project to the course.

The core readings listed in the long course outline should be read prior to the course start date.


Short Outline

This seminar-type course provides a highly interactive online teaching and learning environment, using state of the art online pedagogical tools. It is designed for a demanding audience (researchers, professional analysts, advanced students) and capped at a maximum of 12 participants so that the Instructor can cater to the specific needs of each individual.

The purpose of this course is to:

  • offer in-depth understanding of qualitative interviews
  • develop your skills through practical experience in designing and conducting interviews
  • introduce approaches to interview data management and analysis.
ECTS Credits

3 credits Engage fully with class activities
4 credits Complete a post-class assignment


Long Course Outline

Key topics covered

Day 1

Understanding interview research 

We begin with an introduction to contemporary debates in qualitative interviews, including approaches, epistemologies, and traditions underpinning interview research. Different types and forms of interviews as a source of knowledge generation are introduced before we proceed to practical discussions of interview design and data generation. 

Assignment Interview Design

Core Readings
King, N., Horrocks, C & Brooks, J. (2019)
Interviews in Qualitative Research (2nd ed.)
London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi, Singapore: Sage
Chapters 2 (Philosophical Assumptions) and 3 (Ethics in Qualitative Interviewing)

Day 2

Field preparation strategies 

We examine different qualitative sampling strategies and explore persuasive techniques for gaining access to the field. We engage in the development of fieldwork preparation strategies through an ethical lens, including designing an interview guide and ethics forms (e.g. information sheet, consent form). A special focus is on developing and framing interview questions for achieving breadth and depth, while thinking through interview stages and strategies of inquiry. 

Assignment Interview Guide

Core Readings
King, N., Horrocks, C & Brooks, J. (2019)
Interviews in Qualitative Research (2nd ed.)
London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi, Singapore: Sage
Chapter 4 (Designing an Interview Study)

Ritchie, J., Lewis, J., McNaughton Nicholls, C. & Ormston, R. (Eds.) (2013)
Qualitative Research Practice: A Guide for Social Science Students and Researchers (2nd ed.)
Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC: Sage
Chapters 7 (In-depth Interviews) and 5 (Designing and Selecting Samples)

Day 3

Interview as a social interaction 

In interview research, a relationship between the interview and interviewee is integral to the method. We discuss face-to-face and mediated interviews from a social interaction perspective and consider different factors of influence, including trust, rapport, technology, socio-demographics, power, culture, gender and language. We discuss interviewing skills, qualities and responsibilities required to manage these in different physical and online interview situations and to enhance the data generation process.

Assignment Conducting interviews and reflective account of practice.

Core Readings
King, N., Horrocks, C & Brooks, J. (2019)
Interviews in Qualitative Research (2nd ed.)
London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi, Singapore: Sage
Chapters 5 (Carrying out Qualitative Interviews) and 7 (Remote Interviewing)

Fujii, L. A. (2018)
Interviewing in Social Science Research: A Relational Approach
New York, London: Routledge
Chapters 2 (Building Working Relationships) and 4 (Strategies for Conducting Interviews)

Day 4

Data management process

We examine different approaches to data management and analysis in interview research. We address issues related to ethical data recording, storage and handling, transcription, coding strategies, plurality of interpretations as well as risks of misunderstanding and under-theorisation of data. We discuss the strengths and limitations of traditional ‘by hand’ vs. computer-assisted qualitative data analysis.

Assignment Interview transcript

Core Readings
King, N., Horrocks, C & Brooks, J. (2019)
Interviews in Qualitative Research (2nd ed.)
London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi, Singapore: Sage
Chapter 10 (An Introduction to Interview Data Analysis)

Kvale, S., & Brinkmann, S. (2009)
InterViews: Learning the Craft of Qualitative Research Interviewing (2nd ed.)
Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC: Sage
Chapter 10 (Transcribing Interviews)

Day 5

Critical reflection

The course concludes with critical reflection on interview research. We adopt ethical theory to summarise and (re)consider the ethical risks and dilemmas emerging from interview research and transactional theory to examine the role of reflexivity, critical self-assessment, the researcher’s influence on the research process and ‘truthfulness’ of data. We review current methodological debates, that focus on interviews and their quality assurance, strengths, risks and limitations.

Assignment Interview report

Core Readings
King, N., Horrocks, C & Brooks, J. (2019)
Interviews in Qualitative Research (2nd ed.)
London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi, Singapore: Sage
Chapter 9 (Reflexivity in Qualitative Interviewing)

Ritchie, J., Lewis, J., McNaughton Nicholls, C. & Ormston, R. (Eds.) (2013)
Qualitative Research Practice: A Guide for Social Science Students and Researchers (2nd ed.)
Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC: Sage
Chapter 12 (Generalising from Qualitative Research)


How the course will work online

The course will provide pre-recorded short videos and assigned readings, outlining key theoretical principles, concepts, walkthroughs and tips in interview research. You are required to watch / read these in advance of daily live presentations, seminar discussions and live work sessions on Zoom (around two hours each day, in total). 

Live sessions will focus on participants’ questions, reflections and experience. There will be dedicated time to work on your interview skills and techniques through daily exercises and assignments. These live sessions will be complemented by a Canvas discussion forum. 

You will be able to book one-to-one consultations with the Instructor, by arrangement, over the duration of the course.


Additional Information

Disclaimer

This course description may be subject to subsequent adaptations (e.g. taking into account new developments in the field, participant demands, group size, etc). Registered participants will be informed at the time of change.

By registering for this course, you confirm that you possess the knowledge required to follow it. The instructor will not teach these prerequisite items. If in doubt, please contact us before registering.