On the main developments in the methodology of interviewing
Сand. Sci.(Soc.), Assoc. Prof., Institute of Social and Political Sciences, Ural Federal University, Ekaterinburg, Russia firstname.lastname@example.org
Сand. Sci.(Soc.), Assoc. Prof., Ural Federal University, Institute of Social and Political Sciences, Ekaterinburg, Russia email@example.com
Dr. Sci. (Soc.), Head of the Department of Sociology and Politology, Ural State Pedagogical University, Ekaterinburg, Russia Pryamikova@yandex.ru
The interview is recognized as the basic research tool for the social sciences. The article reviews the key developments of the method, mostly in qualitative tradition, in the past two decades. Based on the iconic publications and their own research practice, the authors identify three main vectors: 1) techniques, 2) power relations, and 3) interaction format. The techniques are analyzed in terms of questioning, stimulus material, graphic and the other sorts of elicitation (self-portrait, relationship map, timeline, calendar, stories of life, memory books). The distribution of power between the researcher and the people under research includes the aspects of initiative, control and planning/spontaneity. The interview formats with fast growing popularity are both online and mobile ones. Special emphasis has been given to the latter. An original typology of the guided tour interviews is proposed, depending on the dominant control center (whose a route) and produced practices (which a route): an informant’s route, a typical rout, a showing route, and a researcher’s route. With respect to the suggesting typology the authors’ version of the go-along interview is described. The article concludes with the discussion of the interrelations of the selected dimensions as well as some paradoxes and problem areas of these intersections.
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