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Structured Interviews Essay

1146 words - 5 pages

Examine the reasons why some sociologists choose to use structured interviews when conducting their research (20 marks)

Many sociologists choose to use structured interviews when they are conducting their research, because by having a structured interview there are a set of prepared questions that are close-ended and already have pre-coded answers.
One reason why researchers choose to use structured interviews is because they are cheap, quick and easy to do. This is because by going out and actually trying to interview the public it is quicker to get a response from the participants and also its quicker to find out whether or not someone is willing to take the time and answer the ...view middle of the document...

Also interviews are considered a social interaction this can lead to a risk of there being an interaction between the interviewer and the interviewee which can influence the answers which are given; this can be anything from gender to ethnic differences.
Structured interviews also means that the researcher can only gather basic factual information this is because they always use close-ended questions with pre-coded answers. This means that because they are only using pre-coded answers and not allowing open questions they aren’t able to find out what affects the people that they are interviewing and whether or not this actually affects the subject which they are researching, this means that the basic information in which they are gathering may be producing false data. By using close-ended questions it means that the researcher is able to get data that is easy to replicate and it will be easier if other researchers want to use these results from the interview then it would be easier for them to gain the same answers as the questions are close-ended.
For researchers to be able to carry out their studies they must first gain informed consent from their participants this is because before the researcher starts to ask the participants the questions they must first inform them what the research is about and make sure that they fully understand what it is about and if they are willing to participate in this research. With the researcher informing the participant what the research is about the researcher must also ask them if they would like anonymity or whether they would like to be known in the research. This allows them to have the choice of anonymity or not.
However structured interviews lack validity as many people lie and exaggerate this means that the results which are produced are false. Structured interviews also suffer from inflexibility as this comes from drawing up the questions in advance to conducting the research, this is because the researcher has already decided what is important although this may not necessarily be what the interviewee thinks is important.
Interpretivist don’t favour structured interviews as they use s pre-set structure which then means that the interviewee can’t discuss what they believe is important to them, also by not having open-ended questions it doesn’t allow the interviewee to be able to express themselves in their own words. Whereas...

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