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Reflective Interviewing A Guide to Theory and Practice by Kathryn J. Roulston

Reflective Interviewing A Guide to Theory and Practice


Reflective Interviewing A Guide to Theory and Practice by Kathryn J. Roulston

Qualitative researchers have long made use of many different interview forms. Yet, for novice researchers, making the connections between theory and method is not always easy. This book provides a theoretically-informed guide for researchers learning how to interview in the social sciences. In order to undertake quality research using qualitative interviews, a researcher must be able to theorize the application of interviews to investigate research problems in social science research. As part of this process, researchers examine their subject positions in relation to participants, and examine their interview interactions systematically to inform research design. This book provides a practical approach to interviewing, helping researchers to learn about themselves as interviewers in ways that will inform the design, conduct, analysis and representation of interview data. The author takes the reader through the practicalities of designing and conducting an interview study, and relates various forms of interview to different underlying epistemological assumptions about how knowledge is produced. The book concludes with practical advice and perspectives from experienced researchers who use interviews as a method of data generation. This book is written for a multidisciplinary audience of students of qualitative research methods.


What [Roulston] provides is an excellent blend of the theory and practice of interviewing with a careful analysis of the literature on the theoretical aspects of qualitative research, much of which can be off-putting to a new researcher because of its density. This is carefully synthesized with the more practical aspects of interviewing where different scenarios are examined showing there is no 'one size fits all
approach Management Learning

'You might expect a book on interviewing in qualitative research to focus solely on the procedures of conducting interviews; however [in this book] Roulston offers this perspective and much more. In particular, her new book addresses ways in which the researcher's theoretical perspective can inform not only the interview but also each stage of the research process...This thoughtful approach to research will benefit novice qualitative researcers, helping them to not only learn some of the procedures involved in research but also to bring critical reflection to their research studies The Weekly Qualitative Report I found the narrative well constructed, which resulted in a comprehensive `journey'
through the different thought processes and practicalities of qualitative interviewing

...Every chapter is well referenced, contains helpful case examples of the topic and ends with a useful reading list and an exercise which could be used as easily on oneself as in a lecture hall. The book is rounded off with a list of top tips from experienced researchers and a substantial reading list. Overall I found this comprehensive and accessibleSocial Research Association News

About the Author

Kathryn Roulston is a Professor in the Qualitative Research Program at the University of Georgia, Athens, USA. Her research interests include qualitative research methodology, qualitative interviewing, teaching qualitative research, ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, doctoral education, and topics in music education. She has published on qualitative interviewing and the analysis of qualitative data. In addition to her book on qualitative interviewing, Reflective Interviewing: A Guide to Theory and Practice (SAGE, 2010), she was a contributor to The SAGE Handbook of Interview Research: The Complexity of the Craft (2nd ed.) (2012) as well as the forthcoming SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Data Analysis (edited by Uwe Flick).

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Book Info

Publication date

21st January 2010


Kathryn J. Roulston

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SAGE Publications Inc


216 pages


Research methods: general



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