Interviewing for Qualitative Research


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This presentation is intended for 3rd year media studies or social sciences. It gives a succinct introduction to what Qualitative Research is and how to position quotes gathered from interviews in a text. It is somewhat explicit about the necessity that students do not engage in statistical analysis or Quantitative Research

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Interviewing for Qualitative Research

  1. 1. What I second what is that word again? Qualitative Research It is concern with the how and why of decision making not just the what, where and when as opposed to: Quantitative Research This deal with large data set, statistical analysis and can be used to directly support hypothesis.
  2. 2. Run that by me again… Qualitative research is where you talk to just a few people about something. Qualitative research is looking at a cases in depth. Qualitative research can’t be used on its own to completely support an idea.
  3. 3. Why don’t we do that Qualitative thing… TIME STATISTICS
  4. 4. WHO to interview? Sample of opinion from the people you are writing about. Not academics (use their writing) Not punters or the public (quote Qualitative Research from other people)
  5. 5. HOW to interview On phone (record it) In person (record it) Via email (not too many questions please)
  6. 6. WHEN to Interview NOW! Set up any interview straight away. You need the material to work with asap.
  7. 7. WHAT to ask 1) Open questions 2) Not leading 3) Explore the subject thoroughly. Don’t be satisfied with the first answer. 4) Ask questions about person and job first. 5) You can challenge but keep it impersonal. 6) Don’t ask about theory – you are talking with practitioners.
  8. 8. IMPORTANT As much possible let your subject talk… see what they reveal and where they take things.
  9. 9. What to do after interview… You have to transcribe it. Write out the whole thing “warts and all” This takes a long time so don’t let interviews go on too long. Proof and check transcription then include it with paper It will be an appendix (doesn’t count to word count).
  10. 10. HOW to use interview Find quotes and use to illustrate points. One quote doesn’t prove anything. Together they can show ways of thinking or working.
  11. 11. HOW to quote from an interview Find a sentence or passage you like. You can remove ums, ers, stammers and all that. You can change the speech to make the person sound coherent. You can’t change the sense of what they are saying
  12. 12. The only way is ETHICS Make it clear (in e-mail) the purpose of the interview At the end of interview ask subject if they would like to clear the quotes you use. You can then send them the paragraphs they appear in . They can then ask for changes or re-writers. You must follow these…
  13. 13. Example – before subject saw quote… “I do hate it when any producer to asks me to come up with an issue play, even just to kick off generating an idea with an issue makes my heart sink… A producer came to me a couple of years ago and said, “how do you feel about sexual violence and war?” I said, “Oh, I’m not that keen, actually.” To which she replied, “Oh, well, how about abandoned babies?” Well, if it’s a choice between sexual violence in war and abandon babies, I’ll go for the abandon babies, but it was actually a really difficult play to write because we began with an issue so clearly”
  14. 14. Example – after subject saw quote… <Author’s name> details how a single, poetic image (for instance “a woman sitting at a train station in a wedding dress”) can speak to her imagination and serve as the catalyst for her creative process: “To begin creating a story with an issue initially makes my heart sink. I can find an issue working from a beautiful image much more easily than I can find a beautiful image working from an issue”
  15. 15. Remember… You’re not carrying out a radio or TV interview You can edit and paraphrase the interview Make sure you record it. The material you gather is evidence. .
  16. 16. And Please Remember… You can’t use your interviews to create sets of statistics!
  17. 17. And ALSO… NO STATISTICS!
  18. 18. And FINALLY PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Don’t do surveys or use percentages or try to prove things by getting six of your friends to watch a film or make a pie chart that says 33% of producers don’t like working in a certain way when you’ve only interviewed three producers and they were all your mates mates so that doesn’t prove anything… and we haven’t taught you to handle statistics or take a proper sample or anything of these things…so please don’t do it! I implore you… please!!!