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Sociology 582

SOCY 582
QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS

Catalog Entry

Sociology 582
Qualitative Research Methods
Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisites: Graduate standing, or permission of instructor.

The course develops skills in qualitative means of data collection and analysis. The course promotes understanding of qualitative and ethnographic methods and perspectives for viewing people, cultures, and situations. It acquaints students with the use of state-of-the-art digital audio and video recording equipment, and the use of computer software for transcribing, analysis, and movie-making.

Detailed Description of Content of Course

• Ethics, respect, rapport, and responsibility
• Inductive and deductive reasoning
• Data Collection: Participant observation, interviews, focus groups
• Using Recording Equipment: Audio and video
• Transcribing
• Analysis: data codes, content logs, time diaries, material culture inventories, key symbols, domain searches, linguistic analyses, thematic analyses
• Movie-making

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Students conduct original research through weekly guided exercises which are discussed in class. The final product is a portfolio demonstrating student skills.

Goals and Objectives of Course

By completing this course, students should have acquired:
1. A fundamental working knowledge of social science (qualitative, ethnographic, participant observation, interviewing) methods;
2. An understanding that the student’s own culture influences perception;
3. An understanding of the complexity of any cultural scene;
4. A knowledge of the distinctions among qualitative methods, other social science methods, and usual modes of perception.

Assessment Measures

Assignments may include weekly reports of field research, interview transcriptions and analyses undertaken, as well as the final portfolio. Class participation is also evaluated. Students enrolled for graduate credit will be required to access primary sources in qualitative methodology (both data collection and data analysis), evaluate and make critical judgments concerning this literature, synthesize information they evaluate as the most valuable, and develop ways of applying this information by making it useful in the course. Graduate students will be required to help lead class discussions of constructive criticism of their own and other students’ work, and to present their finished work to the class.

Other Course Information

Students are required to use a computer word processing system and specialized software for the collection, recording, transcriving, and analysis of qualitative date, as well as for movie-making.

Review and Approval
May 9, 2012