Interviewing: a focus on qualitative techniques
In the latter half of the twentieth century and in the early phases of the twenty-first century, interviews maintain their position as the research method of choice within the social sciences and, as a consequence, also within the discipline of tourism. So much so has the interview method dominated, that we have been described as living in an "interview society" (Silverman, 1993, 1997; Fontana and Frey, 2000; Gubrium and Holstein 2002). In an interview society, interviews are used to make sense of and understand the world in which we live on a daily basis, either at the informal or formal level. Whilst such a society is primarily associated with the western world, due to globalisation, internationalisation and the spread of the knowledge economy as well as western research practices, interviewing is becoming a global research method for understanding and making sense of the lives of the peoples of this world. However, interviews are not all the same, each follows different 'rules', procedures or guidelines, and are embedded in different philosophical backgrounds. As a consequence, the purpose of this chapter is to consider the overall continuum of interviewing, different types of interviews and then to hone in on qualitative interviewing. In particular, the chapter will overview some of the differing definitions of qualitative interviewing, the philosophical underpinnings of qualitative interviewing in contrast to quantitative interviewing, some practical guidelines for qualitative interviewing, debates associated with qualitative interviewing, representations from a case study informed by qualitative interviewing, and final reflections regarding the place of qualitative interviewing in tourism research.
Tourism Research Methods: Integrating theory with practice
Copyright 2005 CAB International Publishing. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. This book is available online, use hypertext links.