Qualitative Interviews with Irregular Migrants in Times of COVID-19: Recourse to Remote Interview Techniques as a Possible Methodological Adjustment
Research designs require flexibility, and adjustments made to the designs do not always have to lead exclusively to disadvantages. In this research note, we would like to share our reflections on the impact of COVID-19 on the conduct of qualitative interviews with irregular migrants. Since these considerations were developed in close connection with one of our own projects, in which fieldwork is currently in the planning phase, we believe they may be relevant to similar projects. We include a brief remark on the current situation of irregular migrants in different (European) countries, as well as an assessment of the methodological feasibility of qualitative face-to-face interviews with irregular migrants and possible alternatives to this method such as remote and online interview formats. We conclude with insights on our recommendation to rely on a mixed-mode approach, which allows us to use various remote interview modes, thus providing the necessary flexibility to adapt to profound health and social crises such as COVID-19.
Copyright (c) 2021 Maria Gruber, Jakob Moritz Eberl, Fabienne Lind, Hajo G. Boomgaarden
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