This clear, straightforward textbook embraces the practical reality of actually doing fieldwork. It tackles the common problems faced by new researchers head on, offering sensible advice and instructive case studies from the author’s own experience. Barbara Czarniawska takes us on a master class through the research process, encouraging us to revisit the various facets of the fieldwork research and helping us to reframe our own experiences. Combining a conversational style of writing with an impressive range of empirical examples she takes the reader from planning and designing research to collecting and analyzing data all the way to writing up and disseminating findings. This is a sophisticated introduction to a broad range of research methods and methodologies; it will be of great interest to anyone keen to revisit social research in the company of an expert guide.



Interviews are the most often used field technique in social science research. Yet they are not as simple as frequently assumed. Interviews can be seen as a site for the production of narratives, as a special type of observation, and as an opportunity to sample the dominant discourse. This chapter presents the advantages, complications, and multiple uses of interviewing.

What is an interview?

Elliot G. Mishler, an authority on narrative interviewing, suggested a very simple answer to this question: ‘An interview is a joint product of what interviewees and interviewers talk about together and how they talk with each other’ (Mishler, 1986/1991: viii). Absolutely correct, but perhaps not enough to help the beginning researchers to establish the status of the material they are collecting via ...

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