Qualitative Methods

TuTh 2:00PM - 3:15PM / 2800 Wesley W Posvar Hall / CRN 30320

This course will familiarize students with a set of methodological strategies and techniques that are (a) generally defined as "qualitative" in contrast to "quantitative;" that are (b) often wrongfully thought of as "soft" in contrast to "hard"; that are (c) employed for the purpose of generating and analyzing data that are not normally used in survey research, demographic techniques, or experimental procedures (but can be complementary to these methods); and that (d) typically require the practitioner to spend time "in the field" by observing, recording, questioning, and analyzing the behaviors, activities, and productions of those being studied. To do so, we will pay particular attention to interviewing and observational/ethnographic approaches, which are the two qualitative mainstays of social science research. However, we will also touch on issues pertaining to the use and analysis of archival data and other social artifacts. The course will review the theoretical and empirical warrants for qualitative research and explain how to collective, analyze, and triangulate, and interpret data. Students will be expected to read, discuss in class, and participate in out-of-class exercises.

Number of Credits


Dana Moss

Course Term


Course Category

Category A: Text and Theory

Course Year