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Qualitative Sociology

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 189–208 | Cite as

The Longitudinal Qualitative Interview

  • Joseph C. Hermanowicz
Article

Abstract

Studies have emerged that use qualitative techniques to collect and analyze data on subjects followed over time. But due to the novelty of this approach, a codified methodology underlying longitudinal qualitative research is underdeveloped. This article focuses on one method of longitudinal qualitative research, the longitudinal qualitative interview (LQI), to: 1) account for its origin and epistemology, and; 2) delimit the parameters within which LQIs are successfully conducted, using an example from the author’s studies of careers. LQIs are conducted with the same people over a time period sufficient to allow for the collection of data on specified conditions of change. They are also an important means by which to study how people experience, interpret, and respond to change. Accordingly, they are a prime means to study development at individual, group, and societal levels. While the foundation of LQIs is traceable to a long history, their robust application belongs to an as yet unrealized future.

Keywords

Interviews Longitudinal Methodology Epistemology 

Notes

Acknowledgments

A version of this paper was presented at the Eighth International Conference on Social Science Research Methodology, Sydney, Australia. The author thanks Alice Goffman, four anonymous reviewers, and the editor for their valuable insights and comments.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyThe University of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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