SOC 584. Qualitative Research Methods

Theoretical and practical elements of the interview; focus group; fieldwork and community action research. Develop and initiate original research project. Computer techniques for data management and analysis. [Prereq: SOC 382 or equivalent.]

This course will introduce you to the theoretical, interactional, ethical and practical aspects of qualitative research with a focus on interviewing and focus group methodologies.  We will also discuss field research methods, unobtrusive methods such as content analysis and orientations to research including community action research.  Centered in much of the reading and discussion will be issues of subjectivity, reflexivity and power.  Related to these issues are the intersecting social locations and identities of researchers and participants and the implications for research design, data collection, analysis and the content and form of findings.
You will work on your own original research study.  Applied research projects are welcome and encouraged when appropriate.  You will become competent working with data in ATLAS.ti and understand the logic of this software. ATLAS.ti is a qualitative data analysis software program that can assist you with the organization, analysis and reporting of your research.


Berg, Bruce L. 2009 (7th edition). Qualitative Research Methods for the Social Sciences. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Charmaz, Kathy. 2006. Constructing Grounded Theory. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Jones, Nikki. 2010. Between Good and Ghetto: African American Girls and Inner-City Violence. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

6th Edition. Washington, D.C. (Humboldt), American Sociological Association. 2018. Style Guide

Dillman, Don, Jolene D. Smyth, and Leah Melani Christian. 2013, Internet, Phone, Mail, and Mixed-Mode Surveys: The Tailored Design Method. 4th Edition.

Warren, Carol A. B. and Tracy Xavia Karner. 2014 3rd Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, Discovering Qualitative Methods: Ethnographies, Interviews, Documents, and Images.

Rodriguez, Evelyn Ibatan. 2013, Celebrating Debutantes and Quinceañeras: Coming of Age in American Ethnic Communities.