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Analysing Interview Data Possibilities and challenges

Bjarte Folkestad

No 13, EUROSPHERE Working Paper Series (EWP) from Eurospheres project

Abstract: When a scientist has gone through a series of exhaustive events in collecting interview data, one often ends up with asking: what do I do now? This paper seeks to answer this question by indentifying several ways of analysing interview data. As with social sciences in general, the literature and perspectives regarding methods of qualitative interview is rich and contrasting. What analysing techniques that is available to the researcher is however often given at the outset of the research. This paper provides example of how the data analysis could be done both from a deductive and inductive approach, and the interaction between these approaches. Furthermore it shows how the use of ideal types can assist the researcher in performing the analysis. The key activity in the data analysis is data reduction. Here raw data, often transcription of interviews, are reduced from full text into meaningful categories. Using a comparative research on party-based Euroscepticism as an example, the paper shows how a standardisation of the analysis is fruitful, but that it should be used in a combined effort using both comparison, inductive as well as deductive approaches.

Keywords: methodological issues; political science; diversity/homogeneity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008-12-01
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