Weller, Susie (2015) The potentials and pitfalls of using Skype for qualitative (longitudinal) interviews. NCRM Working Paper. NCRM.
The use of digital communication technologies has become increasingly commonplace in social research. Yet, sparse attention has been paid to the potential of such technologies in Qualitative Longitudinal Research (QLR). This paper explores the implications of introducing one such technology, internet video calls (e.g. Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts), as a new mode of data collection into an established QLR study that has primarily generated data using biographical interviews conducted in participants’ homes. The paper draws on the ‘Your Space’ project; a decade-long study following the lives of up to 52 young people from across Britain. Funded as one of eleven ESRC National Centre for Research Method’s ‘Methodological Innovation Projects’ the most recent phase of the project investigates the implications of shifting from physical co-present interviewing to remote modes on key issues for QLR research such as sample maintenance, research relationship continuity, and rapport. In doing so, it assesses whether internet video calls might be a useful means of conducting short ‘catch-up’ interviews between the main waves of data collection, or as an alternative way of carrying out case study intensive interviews.
Repository Staff Only: item control page