This course introduces both the theories and the hands-on approach to qualitative research in sociology. We will examine the epistemology of qualitative methods, the debates of this approach, and some criteria of assessing quality. In light of both recent and “classics” qualitative studies, we highlight how qualitative studies seek to accomplish objectives like rendering the invisible visible, developing concepts and typologies, understanding meanings and change, augmenting quantitative work, and advancing social theories. As for the methods of data collection, we focus predominantly on ethnographic and interview research, and briefly touches upon content analysis and discourse analysis.
Our goal is to develop the skills to design a qualitative research project, gather qualitative data, and begin to analyze data. The course is in the form of lectures, field trips, and tutorial sessions. Students will also do a group project guided by the teaching assistants.