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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Psychology and Sociology
Course Prefix and Number: ANTH 327
Course Title: *Qualitative Research Methods
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Understanding qualitative research and developing qualitative research skills, examining exemplars in the field, exploring the various qualitative research methodologies such as participant-observation and in-depth interviewing and the theoretical and ethical dilemmas associated with each. Data collection, writing field notes and transforming such data into written ethnographic documents are emphasized. Cross-listed as SOCI/PSYC 327. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):

Junior standing.

Course Rotation for Day Program:

Offered Spring.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Theoretical Frameworks in Qualitative Research
By Anfara, Vincent and Norma Mertz ( Pine Forge Press)
Ethnography: Principles in Practice
By Atkinson, Paul and Martyn Hammersley (Routledge)
A Guide to Field Research
By Bailey, Carol (Pine Forge Press)
Tricks of the Trade: How to Think About Your Research While You’re Doing It
By Becker, Howard (University of Chicago Press)
Constructing Grounded Theory
By Charmaz, Kathy (Pine Forge Press)
Handbook of Narrative Inquiry Methodologies
By Clandinin, D. Jean (Pine Forge Press)
Designing Surveys: A Guide to Decisions and Procedures
By Czaja, Ron and Johnny Blair (Pine Forge Press)
The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research
By Denzin, Norman K. and Yvonne S. Lincoln (Pine Forge Press)
How to Conduct Surveys: A Step-by-Step Guide
By Fink, Arlene (Pine Forge Press)
An Introduction to Qualitative Research
By Flick, Uwe (Pine Forge Press)
Reflexivity and Voice
By Hertz, Rosanna (Sage)
Analyzing Social Settings: A Guide to Qualitative Observation and Analysis
By Lofland, John and Lyn Lofland (Wadsworth)
Ethnographic Methods
By O’Reilly, Karen (Routledge)
You Owe Yourself a Drunk: An Ethnography of Urban Nomads
By Spradley, James P (Waveland Press)
Focus Groups: Theory and Practice
By Stewart, David, Prem Shamdasani, and Dennis Rook (Pine Forge Press)
Working Method: Research and Social Justice
By Weis, Lois and Michelle Fine (Routledge)
Inside Interviewing
By Holstein & Gubrium (Sage)
Course Objectives

• To understand the appropriate use of qualitative methodologies. • To distinguish between the various qualitative methods, the strengths and weaknesses of each and read exemplars of the various types of qualitative research methods. • To identify research dilemmas associated with qualitative methods: objectivity vs. subjectivity, researcher reflexivity and voice, studying outgroups. • To complete a qualitative research project.

Measurable Learning
  • Describe the various research methodologies qualitative researchers employ.
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses of each type of qualitative method.
  • Explore the dilemmas surrounding qualitative research.
  • Engage in qualitative research practices.
    Topical Outline:
  • Introduce qualitative research as distinct from quantitative research.
  • Begin thinking of a qualitative research project.
  • Qualitative methodologies social science researchers use
    - Ethnography
    - Participant observation
    - Interviewing
  • Dilemmas surrounding qualitative research
    - Researcher reflexivity
    - Objectivity versus subjectivity
    - Voice
    - Studying outgroups
  • Read two exemplars of qualitative research
  • Explore your research project in terms of these dilemmas
  • Discuss the postmodern turn in ethnography
  • Engage in qualitative research
  • Turning qualitative data into a final written product
  • Presentation of qualitative research project
    Culminating Experience Statement:

    Material from this course may be tested on the Major Field Test (MFT) administered during the Culminating Experience course for the degree. 
    During this course the ETS Proficiency Profile may be administered.  This 40-minute standardized test measures learning in general education courses.  The results of the tests are used by faculty to improve the general education curriculum at the College.


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 20

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Ahoo Tabatabai Date: January 17, 2012
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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