This article analyzes key strategic considerations for setting up targeted research interviews, including human subjects and Institutional Review Board requirements, approaching respondents, the medium of contact, using technology, cultural conceptions of time and commitment, using networks, wading through bureaucracies, and watching for warning signs. By making these considerations explicit and conscious, we can better specify how to gain interviews for our research and how to ethically approach this task. This analysis will be most useful as a pedagogical explanation for students and for scholars newly approaching interviewing.


Interview Methods and Human Subjects


The author would like to thank Laura Enriquez, Neil Fligstein, Ann Swidler, Peter Evans, Irene Bloemraad, and the hundreds of interview respondents who have given me their time in the research which forms the backdrop for this article. This material is based upon work supported under a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, and a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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