Examine the advantages of sociologist in using unstructured interviews in their research (20 marks)
Unstructured interviews are where you don’t have a set plan or set questions to ask your interviewee, all you know is the topic and you then improvise.
Unstructured interviews are good for getting valid data and enabling the researcher to get deeper understandings there are many reasons for this:
Rapport and sensitivity is one of theses as it allows the reporter to develop a relationship of trust this puts the interviewee at ease and encourages them to open up in the formal environment William labov is an example of this where he sat on the floor to encourage the young children he was working with to open up about linguistically being deprived. Willis made his interviews more relaxed by doing a group interview with his ‘lads’ so the group was interacting and opening up particularly effective in sensitive issues where the interviewer can show some empathy and that way feed more information from the participant.
Due to the lack of questions in an unstructured interview the interviewee may feel they have more of an opportunity to speak out about everything they think is important whereas in structured and semi structured interviews they are fixed so the interviewee may not feel like they can say all relevant information. This approach gives interviewees freedom to talk in their own terms about issues that concern them and the topic itself, for an example in a study of unemployed experiences hartly dean and peter taylor-gooby used unstructured interviews (tape recordings) lasting 90 minutes with 85 claimants talking in their own words as questions asked after were adapted to their response, with a lengthy interview dean and gooby found their interviewee could clarify their answer.
With structured interviews it is hard to reconstruct questions to clear up misunderstandings where as with unstructured interviews this is easily solved with there not being...