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.
In the preceding chapters we started with the stimuli (questions, items, response alternatives and graphical layouts) in order to study the reasoning of the interviewees. Now we shall follow the opposite path: we take as a starting point the emotions, social conventions and values of the interviewees and look at how they interact with the stimuli.
We begin with the psychological aspects of the interview interaction and pass on (along a continuum) to those concerning conventions and social norms, finishing with the communicative features of the interview setting. As we have previously pointed out (see Section 3.9), while cognitive problems generated by the questionnaire may concern anyone, communicative problems generally show up only in interviewees who have certain specific demographic characteristics, social experience or ...