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This introduction to the theory and practice of qualitative interviewing shows researchers how to: design research based on interview data; stimulate conversation; absorb what is being said; and stimulate, analyze and present an informed description of the data.
The authors emphasize the importance of cultural, contextual and personal influences on the sharing and unveiling of meaning. They also link qualitative interviewing techniques with theories of how people communicate meaning.
About the Author:
Herbert J. Rubin is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Northern Illinois University. He is the author of Applied Social Research and (with Irene Rubin) four editions of Community Organizing and Development. He has written articles based on in-depth interviewing that explore rural development in Thailand, suburban land-use fights, cooperative housing and economic and community development. Both his monograph on Thailand, The Dynamics of Development in Rural Development and his book on community renewal in the United States, Renewing Hope within Neighborhoods of Despair: The Community-based Development Model, are based on participant observation and hundreds of in-depth interviews. He is currently using open ended in depth interviews as well as participant observation to study organizations that advocate for the poor.
Irene S. Rubin is Professor Emeritus of Public Administration at Northern Illinois University. She is the author of Running in the Red: The Political Dynamics of Urban Fiscal Stress, Shrinking the Federal Government, Class Tax and Power: Municipal Budgeting in the United States, and Balancing the Federal Budget: Eating the Seed Corn or Trimming the Herds, all four of which rely extensively on qualitative interviews. She has written journal articles about citizen participation in local level government in Thailand, how universities adapt when their budgets are cut, and fights between legislative staffers and elected and appointed officials about unworkable policy proposals, all based on qualitative interviews. She is in the middle of an interviewing project about how local officials view and use contracts with the private sector and with other governmental units to provide public services.
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