Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo


  • Svend BrinkmannEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_161


The interview has today become one of the most widespread knowledge-producing practices across the human and social sciences in general and also in critical psychology more specifically. The interview exists in a variety of forms ranging from formal interviews, for example, conducted in surveys, through the Internet, over the telephone, or in face-to-face interaction, to more informal conversations conducted for research purposes, for example, as a part of ethnographic fieldwork. Interviews can also be more or less structured. In survey research interviewing, standardized questions are often posed that seek answers that are open to quantitative procedures. Most qualitative interviews, however, are semi-structured. In a semi-structured interview, the researcher provides some structure based on her research interests and interview guide but works flexibly with the guide and allows room for the respondent’s more spontaneous descriptions and narratives. Some interviews have...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Alldred, P., & Gillies, P. (2002). Eliciting research accounts: Re/producing modern subjects. In M. Mauther, M. Birch, J. Jessop, & T. Miller (Eds.), Ethics in qualitative research (pp. 146–165). London, England: Sage.Google Scholar
  2. Atkinson, P., & Silverman, D. (1997). Kundera’s immortality: The interview society and the invention of the self. Qualitative Inquiry, 3, 304–325.Google Scholar
  3. Brinkmann, S. (2007). Could interviews be epistemic? An alternative to qualitative opinion polling. Qualitative Inquiry, 13, 1116–1138.Google Scholar
  4. Kvale, S., & Brinkmann, S. (2008). InterViews: Learning the craft of qualitative research interviewing. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  5. Rapley, T. J. (2001). The art (fullness) of open-ended interviewing: Some considerations on analysing interviews. Qualitative Research, 1(3), 303–323.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Communication & PsychologyUniversity of AalborgAalborgDenmark