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Using the pre-release material and your wider sociological knowledge, explain and evaluate the use of semi-structured interviews to research the importance of work in shaping peoples identity.

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Introduction

´╗┐Using the pre-release material and your wider sociological knowledge, explain and evaluate the use of semi-structured interviews to research the importance of work in shaping people?s identity. A semi-structured interview is a form of discussion which is used to collect qualitative data by setting up a situation (the interview) that allows a respondent the time and scope to talk about their opinions on a particular subject. It is not structured however the researcher does have a list of key themes, issues, and questions to be covered. In this type of interview the order of the questions can be changed depending on the direction of the interview. Nayak?s research in the Pre-release material ?Displaced Masculinities? explores how Working-class young men have had to rethink what it is to be a ?man? beyond the world of industrial paid employment and how it re-shapes it into a whole ?way of life? with the decline of traditional work and leisure lifestyles. ...read more.

Middle

On the other hand, the results from semi-structured interviews may be false as during the interview, the interviewer may give out unintentional signals which the interviewee may follow as they may feel that they have to give answers expected by interviewer. This makes the interview very unreliable as well as another point being that it wouldn?t be easy to exactly repeat a focused interview, because firstly it is non-standardised questions meaning that the questions would be all different and you wouldn?t receive exact or similar answers. The strengths of semi-structured interviews are that the researcher can prompt and probe deeper into the given situation. For example, the ?Charvers had relied on the culture of the streets?, Nayak had probed this statement even thought his initial aim was to examine how the decline of traditional work and leisure lifestyles affects the younger generations lives, they responded by saying that it was part of their masculine status as ?hard? acts of violence and unlawful activities. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another valid point would be that the interview can sometimes be a ?second chance? to do something good for the interviewee; having been given the time to reflect on something they did, the interview might try to make sense of their behaviour by rationalising their deeds. The interview would be classed as invalid although they are not consciously lying (since they will believe what they are saying is true), but their explanation for their behaviour, with perception, may be very different from what they actually felt at the time. The Charvers, for example, may want to express feelings of guilt and remorseful for what they have done in the past (which they may genuinely feel) and this may be taken as evidence they accept the values of the society in which they live. On the other hand, this guilt may simply be an expression of what the interviewee believes the interviewer wants to hear and may not be useful to an extent for the interviewer?s purposes. ...read more.

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