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Examples and Illustrations 1. When to Use Interviews As you consider your topic, the first issue is whether evidence relevant to your research question or hypotheses is available from sources other than personal interviews that may be more reliable and systematic.
Interview based evidence relies on the personal perceptions of the respondent, which in turn may be distorted in some way by a lack of information or bias. If your topic can be addressed with quantitative indicators or archival evidence, the project probably should start there, with interviews being used to shed light on the meaning of any statistical findings and perhaps to extend the analysis.
Similarly, especially in U.
If significant light can be shown on our question via such sources, you should probably begin your empirical work there. For many research topics, however, the existing evidentiary base is weak or there is significant uncertainty about how a question should be posed, and which hypotheses merit exploration.
Consider the question of what factors influence the committee assignment requests of members of the House of Representatives. The question is fairly straightforward. But contemporary committee assignment requests are not generally available to the research community.
As a result, scholars often conduct interviews with a sample of members or top staff and ask questions about their committee priorities and the relevant motivations.
Alternatively, there often is considerable uncertainty about the best way to structure a research question and what hypotheses are worth testing.
For instance, congressional scholars are interested in the extent to which party leaders exert an independent impact on legislative outcomes in the U. But within the field there is significant uncertainty about the nature and source of that impact.
Is it due to informational advantages at the leadership level? Does leadership power derive from control over internal congressional patronage and campaign money?
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Or do members defer to their leaders because their individual electoral fates depend in part on the reputation of their party as a whole? There is no scholarly consensus about the source of leadership influence, and, as a result, it is difficult to agree on the appropriate underlying theoretical model and hypotheses to test.
Under such circumstances, interviews with leaders, leadership staff, and other close observers of the leadership at work can shed light on where scholars should look for the sources of party influence in the legislative process. More generally, interviews also can be used in conjunction with other modes of inquiry — a mixed methods approach.
For a scholar studying the congressional committee assignment process, for instance, some insight might be gleaned from a statistical analysis of the characteristics of members found on different panels, which can be gleaned from public sources, and also by examining media accounts of the committee assignment process.
Interviews also could be conducted as a check on results from the aforementioned analysis, and also to further extend and enrich the study.
Selecting Interviewees If your research topic can be usefully approached via elite interviews, the next step is to decide whom to interview.
Most often, this will seem fairly straightforward. If you are studying some aspects of member behavior in Congress, you likely will want to speak with members, or with staff who are knowledgeable about their behavior.
If you are interested in the strategic behavior of interest groups, you likely will want a sample of interest group officials or other people familiar with their work. The precise identity and number of interviewees will depend on the topic and the basic structure of the study. For instance, if you are interested in the relative influence of the groups lobbying for and against an environmental bill in Congress, who you want to talk to will depend on your substantive emphasis.
If the lens is trained at the committee level, one approach is to speak with the staff person responsible for environmental issues for each member of the committee or a sample of that membership.
As with all empirical research, you need to decide what the unit of observation is for your research. And then you need to think about the logic of sampling, which is introduced via another learning module on this site. The identity and number of interviewees, in other words, needs to derive from the basic logic of the study and there are no hard and fast rules.
That said, here are two general pointers. First, especially for undergraduate students, the likelihood of obtaining a large number of interviews will rise if you opt for interviewees who are not prominent members of Congress, high-level agency figures, or top leaders of significant advocacy organizations.
Such individuals have very tight schedules and are unlikely to agree to spend time speaking with you. Conversely, the lower you proceed down the professional food chain — e. Second, if you want to generalize about a political phenomenon, you likely will need to conduct more than a few interviews.Covenant and the American Founding an analysis of the work of william shakespeare Daniel J Elazar On his way to Washington to take the oath of office an analysis of political culture and ideology snapp as An essay on the cigarette job by alphonse marie mucha President of the United States of America.
(Dutch) by Deschamps. I worked with a small team of students and professors to develop a textual analysis program capable of scaling political ideology based on the content of speeches, books, and other texts Industry: Public Policy.
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as For a . Participatory action research (PAR) is an approach to research in communities that emphasizes participation and vetconnexx.com seeks to understand the world by trying to change it, collaboratively and following reflection. PAR emphasizes collective inquiry and .