SOCS207 - Meaning of Life: Researching Qualitatively

10 cp
Prerequisites 10 cp from 100–level units in Sociology or DVST100 Introduction to International Development Studies
Teaching Organisation

Multiple modes of research, including social research, require professionals skilled in qualitative research methods.

This unit introduces students to qualitative research methods. Qualitative data aims to answer questions about the various meanings of social and cultural life for individuals and groups. Through various methodologies, students will become familiar with how people tell stories about their lives through rich textual descriptions collected through interviews, observations, and online content such as blogs. Students will also learn how social scientists such as sociologists weave these data into answers to research questions in the creation of sociological knowledge and social policy. The unit will situate qualitative data and methodologies in the research process: inclusive of questions, design and methodologies for qualitative data collection, analysis of data and interpretation, and the importance of ethics. Questions of reliability, validity, ontology and epistemology will be explicitly discussed. Students will also learn the value of qualitative data collection and analysis in the design, evaluation, and administration of social policy for the benefit of individuals and groups.

The aim of this unit is to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to conduct qualitative research.