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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Psychology and Sociology
Course Prefix and Number: PSYC 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 ANTH/SOCI 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)
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)
Working Method: Research and Social Justice
By Weis, Lois and Michelle Fine (Routledge)
Flammable: Environmental Suffering in an Argentine Shantytown
By Auyero, Javier and Debora Alejandra Swistun (Oxford University Press)
At Home in the Street: Street Children of Northeast Brazil
By Hecht, Tobias (Cambridge University Press)
Qualitative Research Methods for the Social Sciences
By Berg, Bruce L. (Prentice Hall)
Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches
By Creswell, John W. (Sage)
Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes
By Emerson, Robert M., Rachel I. Fretz and Linda L. Shaw (University of Chicago Press)
Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Explain the various research methodologies and frameworks qualitative researchers employ.
  2. Describe and explain the epistemological, axiological, and ethical dimensions associated with qualitative research.
  3. Produce a literature review that critically discusses the authors’ qualitative methodological choices.
  4. Explain how qualitative methodological choices are made based on the research question(s) and anticipated outcomes.
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:
  • Use of qualitative methodologies in Sociology, Anthropology, and Psychology.
  • Survey of the main qualitative methods and discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of each.
  • Discussion of the research dilemmas associated with qualitative research.
  • Development of a qualitative research proposal (research statement, relevance of the research in the appropriate academic field, literature review, methodology)
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: Aurelien Mauxion Date: April 17, 2015
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 learning outcomes and cover the subjects listed in the Major Topics/Skills to be Covered section. 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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