Learning from Strangers: The Art and Method of Qualitative Interview Studies

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9780029346259: Learning from Strangers: The Art and Method of Qualitative Interview Studies
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Learning from Strangers is the definitive work on qualitative research interviewing. It draws on Robert Weiss's thirty years of experience interviewing and teaching others how to do it. Through those years, Dr. Weiss has shown consummate skill at eliciting insightful, deeply felt responses when interviewing for his successful books on such diverse topics as doing well at work, coping with marital separation, and loneliness. The most effective interviews, says Weiss, rely on creating cooperation - an open and trusting alliance between interviewer and respondent, dedicated to specific and honest accounts of both internal and external events.
Against the eclectic background of his work in national sample surveys, studies based on semi-structured interviewing, and participant observation, Weiss walks the reader through the method of qualitative interview studies: sample selection, development of an interview guide, the conduct of the interview, analysis, and preparation of data. Weiss gives examples of successful and less successful interviews, enhanced by a sidebar of his own running commentary on how each interaction between interviewer and respondent inhibits or promotes this essential alliance. He offers specific techniques and guidelines - equally helpful to the seasoned professional or beginning graduate student - which he has found useful over many years of asking people to "tell me about it."
Learning from Strangers is a reference guide, an essential text, and a memoir of the experience of doing research. It recounts the emotional experience of being interviewed, the likelihood of respondents telling the truth, and the ethical defensibility of interviewing. Qualitative interview materials have helped Weiss bring to readers the pain of bereavement, the desperate restlessness of loneliness, and the confusions attendant on divorce. Learning from Strangers will be useful to all those who use qualitative research interviews to gather data.

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About the Author:

Dr. Robert S. Weiss is Director of the Work and Family Research Unit and Research Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Review:

Arlene Kaplan Daniels Northwestern University I have nothing but unqualified praise for this work. The book will be a boon to instructors of qualitative methods and to workers in the field. It tells you what you really must know to do various qualitative interviews, why you need to do it and how to do it.

Lisa R. Peathie Professor, Department of Urban Planning and Studies, M.I.T This is a wonderful book. Robert Weiss brings the reader into the interviewing process by showing how to recognize what works and what does not in some real interviews, and by musing as he goes along on the uses, the risks, and the opportunities of interview-based research. The result is a how-to-do-it book that also constitutes a fascinating read.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780684823126: Learning From Strangers: The Art and Method of Qualitative Interview Studies

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ISBN 10:  0684823128 ISBN 13:  9780684823126
Publisher: Free Press, 1995
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