Qualitative Research Methods

This course explores how qualitative research—characterized as inductive, non-statistical, interpretive and exploratory—constitutes social science research. It walks students through the steps of academic research with a qualitative focus: How to identify a robust research question, choose an appropriate data collection method and research design, address research bias, gain first-hand experience applying methods during a unique, two-day, off-campus research practicum, and finally, transform field data into academic text through preliminary analysis. Although the focus this semester is qualitative, the course also contains units on sampling and surveys, presented by a specialist in quantitative research methods. A particular emphasis throughout the course is anticipating and solving research problems that may emerge in developing world fieldwork settings with its many unanticipated events.

The course is taught by Dr. Amy Weinreb