Essentials of Qualitative Interviewing (Qualitative Essentials)

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9781598745948: Essentials of Qualitative Interviewing (Qualitative Essentials)

Karin Olson’s brief, accessible guide to the principles and practices of qualitative interviewing is a welcome addition for students and novice practitioners in a wide array of fields. Interview is the most common method for gaining information in the social realm, so there are a bewildering array of techniques and strategies for conducting them. Olson outlines the various options―from formal to highly unstructured, individual and group―and shows how and when to use each. She takes the researcher through the interview process, from design to report, and addresses key issues such as researcher standpoint, vulnerable populations, translation, and research ethics. Exercises, examples, and tables offer a convenient set of tools for understanding. This slim guide is a key resource for any research methods course.

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About the Author:

Karin Olson is a Professor in the Faculty of Nursing and a Distinguished Scholar in the International Institute for Qualitative Methodology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. Her research is focused on symptom experience in advanced cancer. She is especially interested in documenting links between behavioral and physiological processes associated with symptom experience and in developing methodological approaches for showing the social construction of symptom experience.

Review:

“There are three general ways of writing about interviewing. The first one presents discrete steps in a research process that should be followed more or less mechanically. The second one rejects all such standardized formats and valorizes individual creativity and intuition. Olson’s book is particularly valuable, because it succeeds in striking a balance between these extremes and communicates how to do research based on how she in fact works, what has been helpful in her own research projects, and how her students and colleagues have proceeded. This could be called a craft approach to interviewing that enables the reader to look over the shoulder of an experienced researcher, which is very useful to newcomers and also enlightening to more experienced researchers. The clear and accessible style of this book and its many concrete examples, based on many years of work in teaching and practicing qualitative research interviewing, will make it a valuable resource for students in qualitative research courses for years to come.”

—From the Foreword by Svend Brinkmann, Director of the Center for Qualitative Studies, Aalborg University, Denmark

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