This course introduces students to the theory and skills required to conduct qualitative research or naturalistic inquiry. Qualitative research takes the social world to be one that needs to be interpreted by the researcher in order to explain its meaning(s). Social reality is considered to be constructed and produced through interpretation, and can therefore take on different meanings for different people. This process is an extension of what people do every day: they try to make sense of the actions and words of other people based on their own experiences and perspective on the world. The theoretical underpinnings introduced in this course require an attitude shift from the student in regard to their perspective on what is suitable to be researched, and how it can be known.

Qualitative research is aimed at "helping to understand the world around us better" (Beuvink & De Vries, 2015) by looking into the viewpoints of specific people in society in their specific contexts. This requires a distinct theoretical framework and research skills that acknowledges the constructed and multivalent nature of social reality. The two-fold structure of this course addresses both the theoretical underpinnings and research attitude that is required, as well as strategies to go about seemingly simple tasks such as collecting and analyzing materials. All of these aspects influence the course and outcome of the research, making it a highly personal project. This is why this course puts great emphasis on reflexivity by the researcher her/himself, and requires them to question and evaluate their interpretation of the research findings.

This course provides students with qualitative research tools that can be applied in a variety of academic and professional situations. Attention is given to the initial design and setup, to different stages in the research process itself including data-analysis and interpretation of data, and to writing up and presenting one's findings to an audience. By focusing on the description, analysis and understanding, and explanation of other people's actions and words, we try to come closer to making sense of what other people consider to be 'real' about this world.
SSCRMET202 Assignments and grading rubrics.pdfSSCRMET202 Assignments and grading rubrics.pdfSSCRMET202 Course Outline.pdfSSCRMET202 Course Outline.pdf