Friday, January 29, 2010

Interview Research in Political Science Conference

. Friday, January 29, 2010

I ventured into enemy territory today with other UNC doctoral students and faculty to attend the Interview Research in Political Science Conference at Duke University (co-hosted with UPenn). The conference was put together by Dr. Layna Mosley, Associate Professor of Polisci at UNC and features papers and presentations by Political Science scholars from across the country including Sarah Brooks, Cathie Jo Martin and Melani Cammett.

The first day of the conference was really engaging and the papers were surprisingly practical and aimed at providing insights to grad students and faculty members that haven't had much previous exposure to interview research (both elite and non-elite) and the Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval process. The organizers and presenters are hoping to publish the individual papers in an edited volume that has the potential to be the authoritative text for interview methods in Political Science.

Also really interesting: only one presenter and one discussant at the two-day event are male. The room was dominated by female scholars, which is rare for conferences or meetings in the discipline as males outnumber females by a hefty margin. There was much discussion and speculation amongst the presenters and attendees regarding why female scholars have utilized interview methods to a much greater extent than male scholars and whether female scholars are more open-minded regarding the use of multi-method approaches and are better than males at inter-personal communication and other characteristics common in most interviewers. Interesting question to ponder on a Friday evening.

The conference continues tomorrow at Duke (assuming that we don't get pummeled by the 12 inches of snow that are expected in the triangle tonight and the roads are shut down) and I'll report back with any new insights from tomorrow's presentations. More info on the conference itself at the link above.

Also, one quick note: Dr. Oatley, Will and I will be attending the International Studies Association Convention in New Orleans, LA from February 17-20. If the conference ballrooms have free wireless internet, I will be live-blogging some of the panels and papers that I'll be attending so check in on those days for special coverage of the ISA convention.


Interview Research in Political Science Conference
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