Knocking on doors: Recruitment and enrichment in a qualitative interview-based study

Katherine Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper describes the process of recruiting participants for a qualitative interview-based study by leafleting and door knocking. It is argued that door knocking can enrich and thicken research that usually takes place 'behind closed doors', enabling researchers to engage their ethnographic imaginations by observing neighbourhood interactions, familiarising themselves with the places their participants inhabit and through the embodied, sensory experience of walking itself. By treating the recruitment process as data, it is suggested that the door knocking researcher can ensure his/her individual participants are understood as connected to the wider social, physical and sensory environment they inhabit. Door knocking is also seen as enabling researchers to find interest in an element of the research process often viewed as a somewhat irksome means to an end. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-300
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Social Research Methodology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • Mobile methods
  • Qualitative interviewing
  • Recruitment
  • Sampling
  • Sensory methods


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