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Conversations and interviews
Conversations and interviews

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1.1 Asking questions

At the heart of any inquiry is the activity of asking questions. In this section, I want us to think through the various ways that we can do this. I shall split it into different types:

  1. Interviews
  2. Conversations.

Definition: Respondent

For ease of writing, I will tend to use another unusual term in writing about interviews. A respondent is a person who is asked questions and whose answers are considered by an inquirer. It is significant that I have used this term rather than, say, informant or interviewee. The significance will become more apparent as we explore the different types of interviews and conversations you might undertake in your inquiry. Not all questions are answered by information – sometimes you will get opinions or feelings – and not all conversations are formal interviews with an interviewee, and so I’ll use the one term respondent to capture all the people that you’ll talk to during your inquiry.