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Semi-Structured Interviews and Modern Ugandan Land Law

By: Published: 2019 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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My PhD thesis concerns the social and political roots of economic markets in post-conflict areas. It focuses on contested and informal ownership in Uganda where land users may or may not have a legal claim to a formal title and where formal titles may or may not exist. Through this case study of rural farms, small villages, and peri-urban communities across Uganda, this study explores land ownership relations sanctioned by the government and those that exist informally. Understanding the foundation of existing land relationships is crucial to understanding how and when new land policy influences individuals’ choices to formalize their tenure. Interview subjects included subsistence farmers and commercial farmers (84), officials from traditional ethnic kingdoms (7), and government land officers (13). Because my research question probes the social and political bases for land markets, I studied Hansard documents to understand political debates in parliament and archived dispatches and reports from colonial Uganda as well as interviews with subjects concerned with the modern Ugandan land struggle. This case investigates three elements of my research: choice of interview subjects, development of semi-structured questions, and transcript analysis. Finally, this case reflects on the strengths and challenges of conducting semi-structured interviews with members of Ugandan communities.

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Semi-structured interviews

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