Focused interview in domestic practice: a detailed (personal) comment on the article by Oleg Oberemko and Natalia Terentyeva




Robert Merton, primary source, non-directivity, focused interview


The article is a response to the recent publication “Focused interview according to Robert Merton: features and criteria of quality” written by Oleg Oberemko and Natalia Terentyeva. The author proposes arguments to separate the method of focused interview and the method of focused group. Focus group method gained popularity at the expense of its blurred boundaries. Focused interview does not need any legitimization through focus groups. The authors’ appeal to the guide on focused interview written by R. Merton, M. Fiske, P. Kendall, an accessible though not properly studied source, is a strong tool helping to explore the key aspects of the method. Those aspects are relationship between focused interview and experimental logic, interpretation of retrospection as a “time machine”, essence of unstructured questions as an element of qualitative methodology. The article aims to support the authors in actualization of the original source through contextualization of the focused interview in methodological publications in the second half of the twentieth century and discussion of the method specifics.

Author Biography

Natalia V. Veselkova, Ural Federal University

  • Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg, Russia
    • Cand. Sci. (Soc.) , Associate Professor, Chair of Applied Sociology, Department of Political Science and Sociology