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    Moser and Kalton Essay (960 words)

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    ESSAY TITLE: “It was suggested to us that we ought to have women interviewers to interview women and Negro interviewers for blacks. By that logic… we would have to have prostitutes for prostitutes, drug addicts for drug addicts and so on. [For us] the qualities of the interviewer, not his sex, race and personal history, were the important. ” Discuss. WORD COUNT: 2770 DATE OF SUBMISSION: 24th Jan, 2003 “It was suggested to us that we ought to have women interviewers to interview women and Negro interviewers for blacks. By that logic… we would have to have prostitutes for prostitutes, drug addicts for drug addicts and so on.

    [For us] the qualities of the interviewer, not his sex, race and personal history, were the important. ” Discuss. England is an entirely new country to me – an international student. I have stayed in Bristol for only 5 months. Now when I recall the start of my life in England, what were the most things I have done at the beginning of my study life is “asking” friendly English people all kinds of questions. I should thank for those who helped me to find the way, told me how to take bus, taught me various slang, or helped me how to stay in a strange country.

    Through talking with those people, I am getting used to the life in Bristol bit by bit. What is more important is that I am familiar to English culture step by step. From the experience of myself, I really realize the importance of communication, especially the communication between people face to face. Say it academically is that I realize the importance of interview. I have learnt there were many kinds of methods to do social research. Each of them has advantages and disadvantages. But now, in my essay, I mainly focus on the issues below: 1. What’s the importance of interview in social research; 2.

    Importance of interviewer’s selection; 3. Advantages and disadvantages of interviewing between the same personal background and history; 4. My conclusion and some suggestion for using the methods of interview in social research The importance of interview in social research There are many advantages of taking interviews in social research. The major advantage of the interview is its adaptability. A skilful interviewer can fellow up ideas, probe responses and investigate motive and feeling, which the questionnaire can never do. 1 Agility, which give the interviewers lots of mobility to take part in the research.

    Because when we use the questionnaires, we should design the questions and answers in advance. It is easy to ask question, however, it is quite different for the questionnaire designers to consider all of the answers that respondents may answer. As we all know, the most difficult thing for us to do is to “guess” what people think in their minds. But when we take interviews in social research, we can ask many open questions to get different ideas from the respondents. Secondly, the communication between interviewers and respondents will be conductive to the deeper research.

    In the process of interview, we can get much else information through our observation, not only the questions listed in the handout or questionnaire. It may be convenient for most of us to find more underlying problems and to do deeper research. But there are many disadvantages when we use the method of interview in social research. Interviews are time-consuming, and so in a 100-hour project you will be able to interview only a relatively small number of people. It is a highly subjective technique and therefore there is always the danger of bias. 2

    Moser and Kalton (1971: 271) describe the survey interview as ‘a conversation between interviewer and respondent with purpose of eliciting certain information from respondent’. This, they continue, might appear a straightforward matter, but the attainment of successful interview is much more complex than this statement might suggest. 3 The importance of interviewers’ selection As interview happened between two persons, the personality of the interviewers might highly affect the quality of interview. That is also what we should discuss in this essay.

    Interaction now is not only structured by the questions, but by personal feelings. 4 Basically, everybody has his/her personality, temper, emotion and different ways of dealing with the same thing. Although we can through training or other exercise to standardize the basic diathesis that an interviewer should have, there are also much happenchance may be occurred, for example, the customs of the interviewer, the behavior of interviewer and the tones or pace of questioning, those all are used by the interviewers for a long time, it is not easy to change through some limited training.

    But normally, these problems can be covered when we select the interviewers by heart. Interviewers often face difficulties in: > Obtaining accurate and truthful responses to relatively closed questions, such as ‘How often? ‘ or ‘How many? ‘ > Obtaining full and sincere responses to open ended questions such as ‘How did you feel about X’, ‘Can you tell me what happened when Y? ‘ > Focusing the interview, that is, getting people to talk about the issues which concern the research5. Almost every researcher want to try their best to have a high quality interview which will be contribute to the whole research.

    So almost every researchers seek for some suitable interviewers to satisfy the result of interview. There is a dilemma when the researchers to find the suitable interviewers. On one hand, as we all know, interview is the dialogue between two persons, should we look for the interviewers in the same background? Is it easy to communicate with each other? On another hand, or the qualities of interviewers are more important to reach a successful interview? We can through training or other ways to standardize the interviewers. Now let’s discuss it.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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