Interviewing in the Eye of the Storm: Do Local Anti-Immigrant Policies Have Social Consequences?


This case study focuses on an interview-based qualitative research project based on Hazleton, Pennsylvania, a community that approved a strict anti-immigrant policy in 2006. The project assessed this law’s impact on local interethnic relations. I describe the logic of case selection along with some of the challenges I encountered while doing fieldwork in rural Pennsylvania. I also discuss the implications of different forms of subject recruitment, including snowball sampling along with a more informal and spontaneous way to collect data that I call "wandering around." Finally, I discuss some of the advantages of gathering panel data in qualitative studies.

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