Qualitative interviews are one of the most popular research methods in political and social research, yet often due to a lack of understanding run a risk of misrepresentation and under-theorisation of data. To avoid such risks, the course aims to develop an in-depth understanding of theoretical underpinnings of qualitative interviews and provide practical training in interview design, data generation and management.
On the first day, the course introduces theoretical reflections, philosophical assumptions, methodological underpinnings and ethics in interview research. Field preparation strategies and techniques, including sampling, gaining access, designing an interview guide, framing questions, and thinking through enquiry strategies are discussed. We outline the stages of the interview process and explore potential influence of socio-demographic and personal characteristics on relationship between the interviewer and interviewees and, consequently, on the data generation process.
Building on this knowledge, the second day focuses on developing interview skills through practical experience of designing and conducting interviews and managing data. We discuss theoretical applications and conclude the course with a critical reflection on strengths, limitations and scientific criteria in interview research.
This course will be offered online.
About the lecturer
Alenka Jelen-Sanchez is Senior Lecturer in Public Relations and Deputy Head of Division of Communications, Media and Culture at the University of Stirling, UK. She holds a PhD in Sociology – Communication Sciences from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Her current research interest is in political and communication studies with a special focus on public relations as an academic discipline, intersections between journalism and public relations, gender in media and public relations, health communication and qualitative research methods, particularly interviews. She has extensive international experience in interview research and teaching. She has been an Instructor of Expert Interviews at the ECPR (European Consortium for Political Research) Summer School in Methods and Techniques since 2008 and has taught interview research at several universities and research institutes in Europe and Canada.
Please note that other external participants than the one mentioned in the target group above are asked to pay a small course fee.