Qualitative Methods: Overview and Semi-Structured Interviewing

This course will focus on semi-structured, or in-depth, interviewing, with a brief introduction to other qualitative methods, including observation. Semi-structured interviewing is often most helpful in understanding complex social processes.  We will examine the goals, assumptions, process, and uses of interviewing and compare these methods to other related qualitative and quantitative methods in order to develop research designs appropriate to research goals. The course will cover all aspects of interviewing, including how to decide who to interview, how to ask good interview questions, and how to conduct successful interviews. Students will conduct interviews, and discuss the process and outcome of those interviews. We will examine the strengths and weaknesses of this methodology, particularly through discussion of some of the critiques of these methods.

SurvMeth 651 (1.5 credit hours)
Instructor: Nancy Riley
Textbook Information: Learning from Strangers: The Art and Method of Qualitative Interview Studies-ISBN 978-0684823126