Interviews: Museums

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A more in-depth discussion of the nature of questions in qualitative interviews

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Interviews: Museums

  1. 1. Interviews Interview Questions Dealing with Interview material
  2. 2. Types of Interview Questions (1) <ul><li>Degree of focus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘grand-tour questions: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Could you show me around the building?’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘What are the general purposes of this room?’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>These enable a broad picture to be obtained </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specific questions: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘Please tell me more about …’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>These help to find out more specific information </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Types of Interview Questions (2) <ul><li>Degree of open-endedness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open-ended </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘ How do you feel about …’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Used to discover participant’s perception of the situation. Allows participants to interpret questions their own way. Allows new questions to be generated. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Closed questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Do you agree with the idea that …’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Restricts participant’s response. Useful to confirm findings </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Types of Interview Questions (3) <ul><li>Types of information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Descriptive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Could you tell me what happened that evening? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structured </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘ What factors do you think are involved in …?’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contrast </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘ In what way has the course improved since last year?’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clarification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘ You talk about how objects represent people. Can you clarify for me what you mean?’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Follow-up </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘ You mentioned organising space in the gallery. Can you tell me how you organise the display space?’ </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Understanding interview material <ul><li>Knowledge is gained from the interviewee’s viewpoint </li></ul><ul><li>Research material is gathered from the interaction between the interviewee and the researcher </li></ul><ul><li>The primary goal is to understand and interpret these materials in terms of the context in which they were produced: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Was the interview pre-arranged? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Was the interviewee at ease? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What type of questions were asked? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When and how were they asked? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We will do more work on what to do with material collected from interviews in a later session </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Interview task <ul><li>You are interested in the nature of museums/galleries, especially how people experience/understand the museum/gallery experience. </li></ul><ul><li>Interview a member of the group to gather material which will help you investigate the topic. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Interview Task: feedback <ul><li>How did you approach the exercise? </li></ul><ul><li>What was most difficult for you? </li></ul><ul><li>Would you change anything the next time you interview someone? </li></ul><ul><li>What did you learn about the museum experience? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Next week … <ul><li>We will look at dealing with interview transcripts and continue the work on representation in Museum and galleries. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Kvale, S. (1996). Interviews: An introduction to qualitative research interviewing . Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hall, S., Ed. (1997). Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices . London, Sage. Ch 3 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, B. (1998). Destination Culture: Tourism, Museums and Heritage . San Francisco, University of California Press. pp. 1-78 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Duncan, C. (1995). Civilising Rituals: Inside public art museums . London, Routledge. Ch. 1 </li></ul></ul></ul>

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