“This won’t take long…”: Interviewing, ethics and diversity

Simon Warren, Carol Vincent

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


In this paper, the focus is on one particular research project, conducted in the UK, which studied the role of parent groups and organizations in relation to the mainstream education system. The authors seek to analyze and evaluate access to the different "structures of feeling" inhabited by the various respondents involved in the project. Using the project as a lens, a critical case, the relationships between respondents and researchers are problematized, highlighting a number of issues with broad applicability. These include negotiating access, securing informed consent, the debates around symmetry and asymmetry between researcher and respondent, the processes of interviewing, data analysis and dissemination. The authors also comment on the formation and development of relationships with respondents, trying to tease out the differences and similarities of age, race, social class, language, and gender, and to suggest how these disjunctions and connections affected the process of datacollection and analysis. Finally, the article concludes with a brief consideration of the implications for future research design and conduct of the arguments put forward.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)39-53
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2001
Externally publishedYes

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