Sociology 482

SOCY 482: Qualitative Research Methods

Prerequisites: SOCY 110 or SOCY 121, or permission of instructor

Credit Hours: (3)

The course develops skills in qualitative means of data collection and analysis. The course promotes understanding of qualitative and ethnographic methods and perspectives for viewing people, cultures, and situations. It acquaints students with the use of state-of-the-art digital audio and video recording equipment, and the use of computer software for transcribing, analysis, and movie-making. This course may be used to meet requirements for the minors in Appalachian Studies.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Ethics, respect, rapport, and responsibility

Inductive and deductive reasoning

Data Collection: Participant observation, interviews, focus groups

Using Recording Equipment: Audio and video


Analysis: Data codes, content logs, time diaries, material culture inventories, key symbols, domain searches, linguistic analyses, thematic analyses



Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Students conduct original research through weekly guided exercises which are discussed in class. The final product is a portfolio demonstrating student skills.


Goals and Objectives of Course

By completing this course, students should have acquired:

a. A fundamental working knowledge of social science (qualitative, ethnographic, participant observation, interviewing) methods;

b. An understanding that the student’s own culture influences perception;

c. An understanding of the complexity of any cultural science;

d. A knowledge of the distinctions among qualitative methods, other social science methods, and usual modes of perception.


Assessment Measures

Assignments may include weekly reports of field research, interview transcriptions and anyleses undertaken, as well as the final portfolio. Class participation is also evaluated.


Other Course Information

Students are required to use a computer word processing system and specialized software for the collection, recording, transcribing, and analysis of qualitative date, as well as for movie-making.


Review and Approval

February 27, 2012