Interviewing is perhaps the most common of all research methods. We have already seen in Chapter 5 how survey interviewing is frequently used to generate standardised quantitative data which may be subjected to statistical analysis, and in this chapter we will consider a range of approaches to interviewing which yield different kinds of data and require different kinds of analysis. Whilst interviewing is a well-established and tested research tool which many methods books discuss in detail (e.g. Bogdan and Biklen, 1982; Burgess, 1984; Denzin, 1989; Hammersley and Atkinson, 1995; Hallway and Jefferson, 2000; Keats, 2000; Lincoln and Guba, 1985; Mason, 1996; Morton-Williams, 1993; Mishler, 1986; Scheurich, 1997-to cite only a few of the many), few make the point that interviewing performs many roles in our society. Whilst these roles may be slightly different and the interviews may be conducted for different purposes,
they share many similar characteristics. For example, market researchers conducting
tion for jobs and places at colleges and universities. In addition, interviews can also be a popular form
of entertainment. The large audiences throughout the world for television chat shows, in all their various forms, provide testimony to the capacity of interviews to inform, entertain and amuse. They also frequently provide the basis for newsgathering and the dissemination of opinion and comment from those making the news.