The Art of Hearing Data
The book describes in-depth qualitative interviewing from the very beginning to last step, from its underlying philosophy and assumptions to project design, analysis and write up. In responsive interviewing, the stages of research-design, data gathering, and analysis-are intimately linked. Researchers perform analysis throughout their projects, not just at the end, so that as they learn more, they can modify both the research problem they are exploring and the questions they ask.
The book assumes no prior knowledge or experience, and the authors' tone is conversational, revealing that interviewers can make mistakes, recover from them and still obtain rich and meaningful information.
Herbert J. Rubin is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Northern Illinois University. He is the author of Applied Social Research and (with Irene Rubin) four editions of Community Organizing and Development. He has written articles based on in-depth interviewing that explore rural development in Thailand, suburban land-use fights, cooperative housing and economic and community development. Both his monograph on Thailand, The Dynamics of Development in Rural Development and his book on community renewal in the United States, Renewing Hope within Neighborhoods of Despair: The Community-based Development Model, are based on participant observation and hundreds of in-depth interviews. He is currently using open ended in depth interviews as well as participant observation to study organizations that advocate for the poor.
"[The book] is somehow both more concise and more comprehensive than the Second Edition, providing a rich discussion of philosophy as well as design and analytic methods. The authors also have a very pleasant writing style that is engaging to the reader, and provides both clarity of the concepts discussed as well as a sense of a strong knowledge through the use of personal narrative and sharing of experiences."