Qualitative Methodology : Comprehensive Interview and Life history Accounts (Epistemology, Methods and Techniques

lsoc2085  2017-2018  Louvain-la-Neuve

Qualitative Methodology : Comprehensive Interview and Life history Accounts (Epistemology, Methods and Techniques
5 credits
20.0 h + 10.0 h
Verhoeven Marie;
Main themes
Specific objects 1) Reinforce the knowledge of the epistemological foundations of these methods, so as to help the student de-velop his/her own evaluation of their relative relevance. 2) Provide the student with tools for the construction and analysis of comprehensive interviews (area of rele-vance of the method, practical modalities for the negotiation of the interview, social conditions for the pro-duction of data, social relation between interviewer-interviewee, interview guide,…) 3) Provide the student with tools for the realisation of 'life-story accounts' or socio-biographical interviews area of relevance of the method, practical modalities for the negotiation of the interview, social conditions for the production of data, …) 4) Presentation and use of a variety of methodological tools for the analysis of qualitative data collected via a comprehensive interview and life-history accounts.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 Note from the responsible of the program : this course is not an introduction (cfr 1rst cycle) but aims at deepen-ing and developing the student's mastery of qualitative methodologies (collection and analysis). The stress will be put on the practical and theoretical use and mastery of these methods and techniques. The course aims at reinforcing the student's methodological skills, deepening two " key " methods of qualita-tive investigation in social sciences, the comprehensive interview and the 'life history account' (or socio-biographical approach).

The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
Part one : epistemological foundations - Reminder : epistemological foundations of qualitative approaches - Epistemological foundations of the comprehensive interviews method: a sociology of processes linked to theoretical invention (analytical induction and " grounded theory ") - Epistemological foundations of life-history accounts (and socio-biographical approaches) : a sociology of the articulation of the personal and the social or collective histories, or subjective registration in a social his-tory ; relation between account, language and practices (different conceptions of categorization) Part two: The comprehensive interview - Objectives and methodological relevance - Position of the researcher : engagement and empathy - Modalities for the construction of data through comprehensive interviews : the " reversal of the object con-struction " (Kaufmann) ; flexible and progressive scale of analysis; progressive sampling. - The analysis : scale of analysis and progressive construction of analytical concepts ; tool box for the analyti-cal introduction (synthesis, memos, frames…) ; readings and conceptualisation statuses. - Exercises on on-going research material Part three : Life-history accounts and socio-biographical interview - Objectives and methodological relevance - Life-history accounts, accounts of practices : ethnosociological approach (Bertaux- - Position of the researcher and of the interviewee and interview strategies - The steps of the method - Analysis techniques - D. Bertaux : decoding discourse (socio-symbolic architecture of discourse) and socio-structural approach (tables of analysis and recurrent processes) - Poirier : inductive, categorial analysis - D. Demazière, C. Dubar, the analysis of socio-biographic interviews : structural approach and grounded theory production. - Exercises on on-going research Part four : return on epistemologial and methodological considerations : breakdown, validity, saturation - The status of breakdown in comprehensive approaches : evolutions - Theoretical sampling and analytic induction : practical markers and exemples. - What criteria for the validation of work ? Concrete tools - Notions of saturation and the analytic generalization : what is the range of the analysis ? How to " close " the investigation and which status must be given to the knowledge produced ? Illustration through con-crete research.
Other information
The course will combine theoretical sessions (knowledge transmission from the teacher), sessions of presentation/discussion of examples from research in social sciences (sociol-ogy and anthropology), as well as practical exercise (personal exercises on material from on-going research). Oral exam : discussion on the subject of the course Individual paper on personal practice Written material (texts) on each of the methods presented Notes or transparents from the teacher
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Master [60] in History

Master [120] in History

Master [120] in Sociology

Master [120] in Psychology

Master [120] in Political Sciences: General

Master [60] in Sociology and Anthropology

Master [120] in Education (shift schedule)

Master [120] in Population and Development Studies