Full course description
Interviews are an often-used research method in qualitative-orientated research in the field of European Studies. Interviews with EU officials provide scholars with unique data about the processes that take place behind the scenes. They are also important tool to establish casual inference and connect the dots. Using interviews as a data source is, however, not without problems. Interview data are notoriously unreliable. Conducting interviews is furthermore time-intensive and therefore a costly research method. This skills training course on qualitative interviewing provides students with an in-depth insight into the strengths and weaknesses of different types of academic interviews. It furthermore provides students a hands-on training in conducting interviews. This skills training course will be organised around three hands-on seminars during which students will improve their interview skills. They will read literature in preparation for the seminars and will have to hand in a number of assignments. By actively conducting interviews and reporting on those interviews, students will get a practical introduction in qualitative interviewing. Students will have to conduct an interview with a policy official and write a report on this interview. The report will discuss the preparation of the interview, selection of the interviewee and response rate, a transcript of the interview, and a concluding reflection.
After this course students should be able to: • understand the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative interviewing as a research method; • know how to conduct a qualitative interview; • know how to transcribe a qualitative interview; • know how to use data from qualitative interviews.
Herbert J. Rubin and Irene S. Rubi (2011) Qualitative Interviewing: The Art of Hearing Data, SAGE Publications. Robert Weiss (1995) Learning from Strangers: The Art and Method of Qualitative Interview Studies, Simon & Schuster.