Interview Protocol for the
2008 Study of Political Pathways
As discussed in Chapter 5, the protocol below is just a guideline. The questions were not
necessarily asked in this order or using the wording below, but all of the interviews covered
the topics below. Many interviews also included discussion of other topics not listed in the
guidelines below that emerged organically from the discussion. The initial consent form and
the demographic questions at the end were read to the interviewees in a standardized way.
My name is Hahrie Han, and I am an assistant professor of political science at Wellesley
College. I am conducting the Study of Political Pathways, a research study designed to better understand what motivates people to participate in civic and political life. I would like
to invite you to participate in this study. If you agree, I will interview you, asking you to
describe your involvement in politics and public life, and the kinds of things you think may
have been important in getting you involved. The interview will be very open-ended and will
take anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour. There are no material benefits or compensation
for participating in this study. Through your participation, however, you will be contributing
to a better understanding of what motivates people to participate in politics.Before we begin, I would like to assure you that as a participant in this project, you
have certain rights. First, your participation is entirely voluntary. You may refuse to answer
any question at any time in the interview, and you may withdraw from the interview at any
time. Second, all information collected in this interview will be kept strictly confidential.
With your permission, I will record this phone conversation, but only for the purposes of
my own notes and record keeping. Excerpts of this interview may be part of the final research report and other written reports, but under no circumstances will your name or
any identifying characteristics be included in any written or published materials. In any
written or published materials, I will disguise the details of any activities you report, such
as the names of organizations, dates, and other information.First, are you willing to participate in this study?Second, are you willing to let me tape this interview?Lastly, before we begin, I'd be happy to share any findings from this study with you.
Would you like a copy of the final report? If so, what is the best way to send it to you?
GUIDELINES FOR INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
|• ||Please describe the ways you participate in politics now. Can you describe a typical
week or month, in terms of the kind of civic and political work you might do?|
|• ||Can you describe the first time you participated in civic or political life? How did you