Using the senses in qualitative interview research: Practical strategies

M. Guillemin, A. Harris

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


In the social sciences, there has been an increasing level of interest in the five senses, especially in disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, architecture and human geography. In this case study, we focus on using the senses in qualitative research interviews. We discuss a research method that we call sensory awareness, which means paying attention to the sensory nature of research settings as well as using sensory questions or prompts in interviews. Such an approach enriches interviews by potentially offering insights into experiences which are often very difficult to describe. We offer an illustrative case to show how sensory awareness can enhance interview research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSAGE Research Methods Cases
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Electronic)9781473948570
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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