Authors: Laudel, Grit
Gläser, Jochen
Title: Interviewing Scientists
Language (ISO): en
Abstract: With this article, we would like to initiate a discussion about a methodological problem that is central to many empirical science studies but has received far too little attention, namely scientifically informed interviewing. To what extent do we have to understand scientists work scientifically in order to explain their behaviour sociologically? As far as it is existent at all, the methodological debate in science studies has focused on ethnographic observations. In this debate, the two approaches of naïve observation and informed observation (which sometimes takes the form of native observation) can be distinguished. The general methodology of ethnographic observation clearly favours the informed approach, as does the general methodology of qualitative interviewing. Scientifically informed interviewing specifies this general methodological insight for science studies but is also necessary because in some investigations we must systematically collect data on the content of our respondents research. This kind of interviewing requires extensive preparation of interviews, the construction of an ad hoc - pidgin for the communication during the interview and the negotiation of an appropriate level of scientific depth between the interviewer and the interviewee. We make suggestions how to solve these tasks (and how not to) and discuss limitations of the approach of informed interviewing.
Issue Date: 2007-12
Provenance: Technische Universität Dortmund
Appears in Collections:Issue 2

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