Interviews are an important research method in the social sciences. There are different kinds of interviews. HOUWEL interviews will be semi-structured qualitative interviews. That means that the interviewers will use interview questions as guiding posts throughout the interview, leaving plenty of room for topics unforeseen by the researcher to arise and be discussed. This type of interview elicits topic specific stories, and attempts to get a full picture of how decisions are made and life situations negotiated.
We would like to interview, whenever possible, all the adult members of a household. This does not mean two interviews in the case of couples, but that adult members will be interviewed together. In cases where more than one generation of adults shares the same household, however, we would like to interview different generations separately.
During the interview we will ask you to identify important members of your family network, people you depend on a day to day basis, or people who have significantly contributed to your current well-being. Following the interview we will like to ask you to facilitate our interviewing of a few of these related households. This would help us understand certain situations from multiple points of view, and will help us get a better picture of how the situations were negotiated.
The interview will focus on your housing history, the relationships with family members that contributed to your housing decisions, and subjective meanings of home. We will ask questions about:
The interview will last between one and one-and-a-half hours. It will take place at your home, at a time of your convenience. The conversation will be recorded, in order to facilitate the analysis of multiple interviews. Also, during the interview we will take notes. During the interview or at the end, the interviewer will probably ask you for permission to take a few pictures of your home.