It's about time: investigating the temporal in socio-legal studies through unstructured interviews

Linda Mulcahy*, Meredith Rossner, Anna Tsalapatanis

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This article looks at a methodology that is often neglected in discussions about gathering qualitative data in socio-legal circles in favour of the ubiquitous semi-structured interview. We argue that the unstructured interview is underpinned by distinctive ideas about the autonomy of the subject in research and is particularly well suited to the ‘bottom-up’ approach favoured in much law and society scholarship. The unstructured interview, with its focus on interviewee-led narratives and structure, is ideal for elusive or under-researched concepts. In this article, we outline its benefits by using the example of researching the highly subjective notion of time. In doing so, we make the case that methodologies can never be discussed in isolation but rather only in response to the issues thrown up by a particular set of research questions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)S104-S117
    JournalJournal of Law and Society
    Volume48
    Issue numberS1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'It's about time: investigating the temporal in socio-legal studies through unstructured interviews'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this