Social Science Research: Qualitative Methods
This graduate program is designed to prepare students of environmental studies to develop and carry out original research. Students will learn about the basics of the theory and practice of qualitative research in the social sciences and apply this learning to produce scholarship in their field of inquiry. The class will begin with an introduction to theoretical perspectives crucial to understanding and conducting such research, including topics such as epistemology, power dynamics, research ethics, and rigor. Students will gain practice in qualitative content analysis, reading the landscape, interviewing, and focus groups. Students will subsequently develop and carry out a qualitative research project of appropriate scope utilizing appropriate research methods of their choice. This work will include preparing a research proposal with clearly articulated research question, literature review and proposed methodology, a Human Subjects Review application, data collection, transcribing, coding, writing, and oral presentations of research proposal and analysis. The process of publishing in peer-reviewed journals will also be discussed.
This course will be taught Hybrid (in-person sessions at the start and end, weeks 1, 2, 3, and 10, with the weeks in between dedicated to independent work with weekly check-ins via Zoom; a student could take this program entirely online)