Interviews

Authored by: Chien-Juh Gu

Routledge International Handbook of Migration Studies

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415779722
eBook ISBN: 9780203863299
Adobe ISBN: 9781135183493

10.4324/9780203863299.ch42

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Abstract

Qualitative interviewing is often used in migration studies, but there has been little discussion concerning the application of this research method to immigrant subjects. Even before interviews are conducted, a number of questions arise: Why are interviews important for studying immigrants? What interview methods are used in empirical research and what are their principles? What factors need to be considered when interviewing immigrants and why? How does a researcher's role affect interview dynamics? What interview strategies are useful when interviewing women, men, and adolescents? How should undocumented immigrants be approached? How does the interviewer earn the trust of interviewees? How is the interviewees' consent acquired? How should sensitive questions be posed? What language should be used when interviewees are not native speakers? How should interviews conducted in a foreign language be transcribed and reported? How should the interviewer dress for an interview? Is giving gifts unethical? What are the strengths and weaknesses of interview methods? How are interviews used in a multiple method approach and in team research? To address these issues, this chapter provides reviews interview methods and discusses their applications to immigrant subjects.

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