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There are four different types of interviews which include structured, semi-structured, unstructured and group interviews. All four of these types of interviews are useful. Out of the two types of sociologists, positivist and interpretivists, positivists prefer structured interviews as they produce quantitative data. To each interview, there are different advantages and disadvantages based on theoretical issues, ethical issues and practical issues.A structured interview is a quick and easy way to receive quantitative data by asking closed questions. Receiving quantitative data is useful because it allows you to notice patterns using the numerical data (quantitative data) which you can then compare to other studies and interviews. The sex survey was an example of a good structured interview because it allowed the charity running it (The Welcome Trust) to see what sexual problems there were so the government could try and see where the most sexual problems were occurring from to try and prevent it. A structured interview is useful as the charity would compare the numerical data to each other and the data is easy to collect as it is first hand. However, structured interviews are normally closed questions which don’t allow the participant to elaborate on their answer or what they might be really feeling. This lowers validity as sometimes they must be forced to answer a question which does not apply to them. In these situations most respondents choose the answer that is closest to what they would have originally answered. Also these types of interviews are unethical as the only person gaining something is the reader.
A semi-structured interview is ‘half-way’ between a structured interview and a unstructured interview, so therefore the data received is half way between quantitative and qualitative data. In a semi-structured interview, the interviewer has a set list of questions but they have the flexibility to ask add on questions, ask participants to…

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