Chapter 7: Interviews

Smartphones are increasingly being used to collect data. Smartphones automatically log behav­ioural data and integrate these log data into qualitative interviews for elicitation purposes. Katja Kaufmann’s (2018) paper discusses the implications of this interface-based approach with two examples of studies where smartphone interfaces were integrated into qualitative interviews:

An instant messenger is helpful if you need to ask a quick question or have an extended con­versation without using a phone:

For a useful set of slides on the basics of working with interview data, from the Warwick Institute of Employment Research, go to:

It is also worth thinking about whether interviews are the most appropriate instrument for your research question. For instance, Affleck et al. (2012) argue that investigators, like Rapley, who study emotionally sensitive topics with men should look beyond the long interview to methods that incorporate other modes of emotional expression. Using Canadian data, they discuss several photo-based methods, including Photovoice, Photo Elicitation and Visual Storytelling. Go to:

For a more detailed critique of naturalist analysis of interviews, read my 2017 paper at:

Using Swedish data from a study on neighbourliness, Jacobsson and Akerström (2012) dis­cuss a case where the interviewee has a particularly strong agenda, far from the intended research topic. Should this be considered a ‘failed’ interview? Go to:

The following article by Witchayanee Ocha and Barbara Earth (2013) uses interviews to exam­ine identity diversification among Thai (MTF) transgender sex workers who are in a semi-reas­signed physical state; working in two famous sex tourism hot spots in Thailand:

For a constructionist analysis of interviews with scientists, go to Yew-Jin Lee and Wolff-Michael Roth’s (2004) article at: