Interviewing for Qualitative Inquiry : A Relational Approach book cover
1st Edition

Interviewing for Qualitative Inquiry
A Relational Approach

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ISBN 9781462510009
Published May 23, 2013 by Guilford Press
206 Pages

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Book Description

Engagingly written, this book builds the reader's skills for conducting in-depth interviews designed to address a particular research question. With an emphasis on the dynamics of the research relationship, Ruthellen Josselson artfully demonstrates the steps of a successful interview. Each step is illustrated with excerpts from interviews on diverse topics. The book describes how to structure interviews effectively, develop questions that elicit meaningful narratives, cultivate skills for empathic listening and responding, avoid common pitfalls, and deal with problems that develop in an interview.

User-Friendly Features
*Practice exercises adapted from Josselson's popular workshops.
*Annotated examples of "good" and "bad" interviews.
*A chapter on interviewing dos and don'ts.
*Appendices with interview aids, sample follow-up questions, and a sample consent form.

Table of Contents

1.The Foundations of Interviewing as Qualitative Inquiry
2. Introduction to the Research Relationship
3. Planning the Interview
4. Beginning the Interview
5. The Empathic Attitude of Listening
6. The Research Relationship, Part II: Ethics and Humanity
7. The Good Interview
8. Learning from Bad and Difficult Interviews
9. Dos and Don'ts of Interviewing
10. After the Interview
11. Conclusion
Appendix A. Interview Aids
Appendix B. Sample Additional Questions
Appendix C. Sample Informed Consent Form

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Ruthellen Josselson, PhD, is Professor of Clinical Psychology at Fielding Graduate University. She is a recipient of the American Psychological Association's Henry A. Murray Award and Theodore R. Sarbin Award, and is a cofounder of the Society for Qualitative Inquiry. In her numerous publications, she has explored the theory and practice of qualitative inquiry. Many of her books and articles are based on interviews. She has conducted workshops on interviewing skills for qualitative inquiry in the United States, France, Norway, Finland, Israel, and the United Kingdom.


"Any qualitative researcher using interviewing could benefit from this text. It is full of interesting interview examples and stories that will catch students' attention. Strengths include the emphasis on responding to research questions, examples of how to elicit details and reflection from research participants, and the attention to images and metaphors. The chapter on 'dos and don'ts' is one of my favorites."--Penny L. Burge, PhD, Department of Educational Research and Evaluation, Virginia Tech

"This is a methodological bible for graduate students, undergraduates, and faculty members interested in conducting interviews, gathering life stories, and building a narrative intimacy with participants. Slender but deep, the volume offers respectful support to qualitative researchers so that we may venture into unsteady territory, muster the courage to be psychologically attentive and engaged, and not stumble. With a delicate braid of narrative theory, methodological guideposts, and a terrifically useful list of interview dos and don'ts, Josselson is an intellectually thrilling and methodologically wise escort for novice and experienced interviewers alike. You will want to read this book immediately, teach it, and then pull it out again when you are about to begin another project. It is classic Josselson--compelling, brilliant, and irresistible."--Michelle Fine, PhD, Doctoral Program in Psychology, The Graduate Center, City University of New York

"Josselson's book is a gold mine for those who conduct research interviews in order to understand people's experiences on their own terms. Drawing on decades of experience as a researcher and teacher, Josselson provides practical guidance about how to carry out interviews that balance human connection with scientific inquiry. This book should be required reading for all social scientists engaged in interview research; my students will certainly be reading it!"--Harold D. Grotevant, PhD, Rudd Family Foundation Chair in Psychology, University of Massachusetts Amherst

"A thoughtful account of how to conduct interviews that invite participants to talk. It does a wonderful job of placing the interviewer/n-/interviewee relationship front and center, something often overlooked or inadequately addressed in other books about interviewing for research. It does a terrific job of explaining the difference between interviewing for qualitative research purposes and interviewing for other reasons. I loved that the text was filled with excerpts from transcripts and that these were from interviews about a variety of topics."--Carey E. Andrzejewski, PhD, Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership, and Technology, Auburn University

"This is a very well-presented text on conducting interviews. I particularly like the examples of difficult interviews. These examples, along with the refining questions, are major strengths of the book."--Elizabeth Monk-Turner, PhD, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Old Dominion University