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Examine the reasons why some sociologists choose to use structured interviews when conducting their research.

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Introduction

Examine the reasons why some sociologists choose to use structured interviews when conducting their research. Sociologists use different types of interviews in their research, these ranging from completely structures to completely unstructured interviews. The difference between them lies in how free the interviewer is to vary the questions and how they are asked. In its simplest form, a structured interview involves one person asking another person a list of predetermined questions about a carefully-selected topic. The person asking the questions ("the interviewer") is allowed to explain things the interviewee (or "respondent" - the person responding to the questions) ...read more.

Middle

The main difference is that in the interview, the questions are read out and the answers are filled in by a trained interviewer rather than by the interviewee. There are many practical advantages for the use of a structured interview for example training interviewers is relatively straightforward and inexpensive, since all they really required to do is follow a set of instructions. Moreover surveys that use structured interviews can cover quite large numbers of people with relatively limited resources because they are quick and fairly cheap to administer. Structured interviews are suitable for gathering straightforward factual information such as a person's job or age. ...read more.

Conclusion

High response rates help to produce a more representative result and therefore a better basis for making generalisations. A valid method is one that provides a true, authentic picture of the topic being researched. Critics of structured interviews argue that, like questionnaires, they often produce a false picture of the subjects they are trying to study. Structured interviews usually used closed-ended questions that restrict interviewees to choosing from a limited number of pre-set answers. If none of these answers fits what the interviewee really wishes to say, the data obtained will be invalid. Overall a structured interview has many advantages such as it's inexpensive, quick and reliable. Sociologists prefer a structured interview because in some ways they can guarantee a positive outcome and it is time efficient. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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