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Long Interview

by Grant McCracken SAGE Publications, Inc
Pub Date:
Pbk 88 pages
AU$63.00 NZ$65.22
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How do social actors define their experience? What does ''home'' mean to the elderly? What is ''innovation'' for management? Qualitative methods have the unique power to answer such questions by giving the investigator a penetrating glimpse into the minds and lives of their respondents.

The Long Interview focuses on one of the most powerful and efficient of these methods, the intensive interview. The intensive interview is a sharply focused and rapid process that seeks to diminish the indeterminacy and redundancy that attends more unstructured research processes. In this thorough and concise presentation Grant McCracken points out the special strengths and advantages of this most useful and important qualitative research technique and presents the necessary tools which enable the reader to take full advantage of this method.

The Long Interview provides clear and comprehensive coverage of the processes and issues involved in intensive interviewing. Key issues in qualitative methodology in general and the long interview in particular are discussed. The four steps of the long interview process are carefully elaborated, ways to maintain and judge the quality of qualitative work are presented, and strategies for writing up results are suggested.

Included are appendices designed to simplify research design, preparation, and training such as a sample questionnaire for biographical data, standard ethics protocol, and a list of budget considerations. These appendices combine with the discussion of key theoretical and methodological issues in qualitative research in general to provide both researchers and their students with an invaluable reference manual for their research toolkit.

Nine Key Issues
The Four-Step Method of Inquiry
Quality Control
The Writing-Up Process
Managing Qualitative Research

"Grant McCracken provides one of the finest bibliographies on the qualitative-quantitative debate that I have ever seen...This selective bibliography alone would be worth the price of the book...McCracken [has a] pleasant writing style, which is balanced, graceful, and witty."