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Using the telephone for narrative interviewing: a research note

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date02/2010
JournalQualitative Research
Journal number1
Volume10
Number of pages9
Pages113-121
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Much social science research dictates that the most productive mode for producing narrative data is through face-to-face interviews, with other modes of data production assumed to be ‘second best’. This research note makes a unique contribution to this debate by reflecting on a research project which used telephones to produce participant narratives. It draws on data from both the researcher’s field notes and the participants themselves, who were asked after the narrative interview about their experiences of participating in a seemingly ‘strange’ research encounter. Furthermore, it describes the particular ideological, methodological and practical benefits that using telephones produced and reflects how such findings speak to Stephens’ (2007) recent work concerning telephone interviewing. This research note concludes that the use of telephones should be seriously considered as a preferred alternative to face-to-face interviews when considering how to conduct narrative interviews with particular groups of participants.