Engaging and informative, this book provides students and researchers with a pragmatic, new perspective on the process of collecting survey data. By proposing a post-positivist, interviewee-centred approach, it improves the quality and impact of survey data by emphasising the interaction between interviewer and interviewee. Extending the conventional methodology with contributions from linguistics, anthropology, cognitive studies and ethnomethodology, Gobo and Mauceri analyse the answering process in structured interviews built around questionnaires.
The following key areas are explored in detail: An historical overview of survey research; The process of preparing the survey and designing data collection; The methods of detecting bias and improving data quality; The strategies for combining quantitative and qualitative approaches; The survey within global and local contexts
Incorporating the work of experts in interpersonal and intercultural relations, this book offers readers an intriguing critical perspective on survey research.
Giampietro Gobo, Ph.D., is Professor of Methodology of Social Research and Evaluation Methods at the Department of Social and Political Studies - University of Milan. He has published over fifty articles in the areas of qualitative and quantitative methods. His books include Doing Ethnography (Sage 2008) and Qualitative Research Practice (Sage 2004, co-edited with C. Seale, J.F. Gubrium and D. Silverman). He is currently engaged in projects in the area of workplace studies.
Sergio Mauceri, Ph.D., is Lecturer in Methodology of Social Sciences and teaches Quantitative and Qualitative Strategies of Social Research at the Department of Communication and Social Research - University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’. He has published several books and articles on data quality in survey research, mixed strategies, ethnic prejudice, multicultural cohabitation, delay in the transition to adulthood, worker well-being in call centres and homophobia.
The Answering Process
The Answering Process
The real test of the researcher's design choices is the answering process. The interviewee's reaction to wording, question order, data collection mode, etc. will reveal the quality of the researcher's decisions. In addition, the analysis of response strategies (the cognitive and communicative processes that guide interviewees) will reveal the types of bias that may compromise data quality, and point to appropriate remedies and solutions.
However, this requires a focus shift: from the questions (old paradigm) to the answers (new paradigm). Designing the data collection system without taking account of the interviewee's point of view would be like designing a product or service without considering the habits and needs of the users or clients.
3.1 • Backstage: What Lies Behind the Datum?
The survey datum (e.g. ...