Learning From Strangers is the definitive work on qualitative research interviewing. It draws on Robert Weiss's thirty years of experience in interviewing and teaching others how to do it. The most effective interviews, says Weiss, rely on creating cooperation -- an open and trusting alliance between interviewer and respondent, dedicated to specific and honest accounts of both internal and external events. Against the eclectic background of his work in national sample surveys, studies based on semi-structured interviewing, and participant observation, Weiss walks the reader through the method of qualitative interview studies: sample selection, development of an interview guide, the conduct of the interview, analysis, and preparation of the data. Weiss gives examples of successful and less successful interviews and offers specific techniques and guidelines for the practitioner.
Arlene Kaplan Daniels Northwestern University I have nothing but unqualified praise for this work. The book will be a boon to instructors of qualitative methods and to workers in the field. It tells you what you really must know to do various qualitative interviews, why you need to do it and how to do it.
Lisa R. Peathie Professor, Department of Urban Planning and Studies, M.I.T This is a wonderful book. Robert Weiss brings the reader into the interviewing process by showing how to recognize what works and what does not in some real interviews, and by musing as he goes along on the uses, the risks, and the opportunities of interview-based research. The result is a how-to-do-it book that also constitutes a fascinating read.
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