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Ten standard Objections to Qualitative Research Interviews

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Qualitative research has tended to evoke rather stereotyped objections from the mainstream of social science. Ten standardized responses to the stimulus "qualitative research interview" are discussed: it is not scientific, not objective, not trustworthy, nor reliable, not intersubjective, not a formalized method, not hypothesis testing, not quantitative, not generalizable, and not valid. With the objections to qualitative interviews highly predictable, they may be taken into account when designing, reporting, and defending an interview study. As a help for new qualitative researchers, some of the issues, concepts, and arguments involved are outlined, and the relevancy of the standard objections is discussed. Alternative conceptions of qualitative research, coming from phenomenological and hermeneutical traditions, are suggested. The qualitative interview based on conversation and interaction here appears as a privileged access to a linguistically constituted social world.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Psychology, Aarhus University, Denmark


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