[Air-L] Interviewing via MSN

Willem de Koster dekoster at fsw.eur.nl
Tue Oct 27 11:57:07 PDT 2009

Dear Carmen,

In my experience the use of online interviews is perfectly suited to 
deal with sensitive relationships with research participants. In a study 
of an online community of right-wing extremists I have combined content 
analysis of a forum with synchronous online interviews because 
participants were too concerned about their privacy to meet offline. 
This worked out very well, and the interviews yielded rich data that are 
no less useful than data from face-to-face interviews. If you are 
interested in a modest reflection on some ethical and practical aspects 
of these methods, you might like to read the section on data and methods in

De Koster, Willem and Dick Houtman (2008) '" Stormfront is Like a Second 
Home to Me": On Virtual Community Formation by Right-Wing Extremists.' 
/Information, Communication and Society/ 11(8), 1153-1175

I hope this might provide a starting point to gain further insight. Good 
luck with your research, which sounds exciting!

Kind regards,

Willem de Koster

Department of Sociology
Faculty of Social Sciences
Erasmus University Rotterdam
P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
The Netherlands

tel:   +31 10 408 2390
fax:   +31 10 408 9098
e-mail: dekoster at fsw.eur.nl
homepage: http://www.willemdekoster.nl

Becker, C. (Carmen) schreef:
> Dear all,
> I am in the middle of my phd research/fielwork on media practices of young Muslims in Germany and the Netherlands who are inspired by Salafism. My research involves among other things participant observation in chat rooms and also Internet forums. I have done quite some (offline) interviews with both, men and women. Some men that I know from Islamic chat rooms would like to participate in interviews. However, their understanding of Islam does not allow them to talk to women that are not related to them by family. They offered to talk to me via msn (or paltalk).
> I would like to prepare myself and I am looking for some literature expanding on the methodology and ethcial questions of online interviews (via synchronous chat). I would be happy about any recommendation from the list. 
> Thanks a lot in advance!
> Best,
> Carmen
> Carmen Becker
> -----------------------------------------
> research.carmenbecker.net
> Radboud University Nijmegen
> Postbus 9103
> The Netherlands
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