Adding to the Toolkit

I just completed Seidman’s Interviewing as Qualitative Research. It was everything I didn’t know I needed. I’m grateful.

I am teaching Qualitative Research Design this semester and as a first time prep, I’ve had to review/reread materials I read as a student of the course and investigate new resources. Seidman is someone I’d seen cited often by fellow doctoral students who were conducting in-depth interviews for their research. As I wasn’t, I never thought much about him or his work.

My advisor, Janette, has taught the course previously and she graciously offered to help me with the course design. She shared her readings, and his text was on the list. I’d read Patton’s work as a student, but found it wanting. I went with Seidman and was instantly glad. His words resonated with me again and again. As Louise Hay would say, I felt and heard my “inner ding.”

For the unfamiliar, Seidman discusses in-depth interviewing; specifically phenomenological interviewing. He interviews to understand people’s stories. To get their subjective experience through their own words. It hit home for me as I am seeking to develop a new conceptual framework and clarify my niche. Narrative has been a stable interest of mine, but up until this point, my focus has been on participants (physically) writing their own.

This will be a nice addition to my toolkit. Although not everyone is suited to interviewing, I have a hunch it may be a good methodology for me.  When I get the chance to try out my first series of phenomenological interviews, I’ll let you know if this is indeed a good fit. Fingers crossed.


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