Til forsvar for kvalitative intervju

  • Eivind Grip Fjær


To kritikker fra prominente sosiologer har de siste årene dratt i tvil nytten av kvalitative intervjudata for å si noe pålitelig om sosiale praksiser utenfor intervjusituasjonen. Den ene tar utgangspunkt i at folk ikke alltid handler slik de sier at de gjør, den andre kritikken i at folk ikke har diskursiv tilgang til sin praktiske kunnskap. Kritikkene impliserer at alt av intervjudata må behandles som fordreide av informantenes holdninger eller misoppfatninger. Kritikkene innebærer også en antakelse om at intervjudata ikke blir analysert med noen distanse til informantenes holdninger. Jeg mener at både implikasjonen og antakelsen er urimelige, og vil svare på dem med å dra fram tre teknikker som forskere som benytter seg av intervju ofte bruker: sammenligning, leting etter flere indikatorer og vurderinger av sammenheng med tidligere forskning. Ved blant annet å bruke disse teknikkene i analysen av intervjudata kan forskere dra valide konklusjoner også om forhold utenfor intervjusituasjonen.

ENGELSK ABSTRACT Eivind Grip Fjær: In defense of qualitative interviews In recent years several prominent sociologists have argued that qualitative interviews are inadequate for making valid claims about social practices outside of the interview situation. One critique is based on the distinction between what people do and what they say they do, another on theories arguing that people do not have discursive access to their practical knowledge. These critiques imply that researchers should treat all interview data as distorted by informants’ attitudes and misunderstandings. They also rest on the assumption that interview data analysis lacks distance to informants’ attitudes. I argue that both the implication and the assumption are unreasonable, and will reply to them by pointing to three techniques commonly applied by researchers who use interview data: comparison, search for multiple indicators, and evaluation of consistency with previous research. In part by using these techniques in their analysis of interview data, researchers are able to make valid claims about practices outside of the interview situation. Keywords: Interview, qualitative method, action, attitude.


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