Examine the Reasons Why Some Sociologists Choose to Use Structured Interviews When Conducting Research

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Examine the reasons why some sociologists choose to use structured interviews when conducting research. There are three types of interviews; structured, unstructured and semi-structured interviews. The most commonly used types of interviews by sociologists are structured interviews and unstructured interviews. Structured interviews have various advantages, therefore, some sociologists, mainly Positivist sociologists, choose to use structured interviews when conducting research. Positivists are mainly interested in research methods that achieve their main goals of reliability, generalisability and representativeness, for this reason, they favour structured interviews as they achieve these goals. This is because structured interviews often have questions and answers that are standardised; they are reliable because they can be therefore replicated. Positivist sociologists also prefer to use structured interviews when conducting research because the pre-coded responses mean that quantitative data can be produced and so cause-and-effect relationships can be established. Also, structured interviews are representative and can therefore be generalised, because of the fact that they are often large-scale. There are also practical advantages to using structured interviews. For an example, training interviewers is relatively easy and inexpensive as no specialist skills have to be taught as the questions tend to be very straightforward as they often close-ended, and do not require too much thought. Also, because skills taught are minimal, the process of training interviewers will not cost too much. Another practical advantage, is that structured interviews are relatively cheap and easy to administer, so large quantities of interviews can be carried out, meaning that are large-scale , so sociologists, especially Positivists’, can generalise data as the data found will be representative. Also, another practical advantage is that they are relatively straightforward to...
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