Mastering the Semi-Structured Interview and Beyond offers an in-depth and captivating step-by-step guide to the use of semi-structured interviews in qualitative research. By tracing the life of an actual research project–an exploration of a school district's effort over 40 years to address racial equality–as a consistent example threaded across the volume, Anne Galletta shows in concrete terms how readers can approach the planning and execution of their own new research endeavor, and illuminates unexpected real-life challenges they may confront and how to address them.
The volume offers a close look at the inductive nature of qualitative research, the use of researcher reflexivity, and the systematic and iterative steps involved in data collection, analysis, and interpretation. It offers guidance on how to develop an interview protocol, including the arrangement of questions and ways to evoke analytically rich data.
Particularly useful for those who may be familiar with qualitative research but have not yet conducted a qualitative study, Mastering the Semi-Structured Interview and Beyond will serve both undergraduate and graduate students as well as more advanced scholars seeking to incorporate this key methodological approach into their repertoire.
Foreword by William E. Cross, Jr. ix
Section I: Setting the Stage
1 Craft ing a Design to Yield a Complete Story 9
2 Th e Semi-Structured Interview as a Repertoire of Possibilities 45
Section II: The Semi-Structured Interview:
Collecting and Analyzing Qualitative Data
3 Conducting the Interview: Th e Role of Reciprocity
and Refl exivity 75
4 Ongoing and Iterative Data Analysis 119
Section III: Synthesizing and Interpreting
5 Building Th eory 149
6 Writing Up and Speaking Back to the Literature 173
Aft erword: Loose Th reads 191
Appendix A: Sample Protocol for Student Participants 195
Appendix B: Past as Present, Present as Past: Historicizing
Black Education and Interrogating “Integration” 203
About the Author 245
"A major strength of this work is how the author ties key themes, concepts, and issues to an actual research study she conducted, ensuring that the discussion is rooted in concrete experience and example rather than vague principles....Overall this is a very practical, detailed, and accessible guide to conducting semi-structured interviews. Summing Up: Highly recommended." -R.V. Labaree,Choice
"Reading this book is like having an extended conversation with a wise and experienced qualitative researcher that explores not only how to construct and conduct effective semi-structured interviews but also many other aspects of qualitative research, including the difficult but important question of how to move from your data to your conclusions."-Janet Ward Schofield,University of Pittsburgh
"A beautifully crafted book. Methodologically authoritative and narratively engaging, its comprehensive description of the semi-structured interview introduces established and emerging social scientists to a versatile, informative, inductive qualitative method that too often is treated as if it were methodologically self-evident. Galletta describes how this method can include diverse participants’ voices, experiences, understandings, and concerns with rigor and rich conceptual and narrative effects. This timely book will surely be a classic, widely used in methods courses and as an important resource for researchers interested in the complex dynamics of social issues and societal change.” -Susan Opotow,John Jay College of Criminal Justice and The Graduate Center, CUNY