GEOG 377: Qualitative Research Methods in Geography

qualitative methodsQualitative data is increasingly part of research efforts in the fields of business, public service, the nonprofit sector and academia. Yet the status of qualitative research as “scientific” is problematic and the collection and analysis of qualitative data is troublesome and often fraught with difficulties. In this course, we will find ways to navigate around these obstacles by exploring the ways in which qualitative research can contribute to social science in general and human geography in particular. Toward this goal, we will learn to approach research as a process of knowledge construction and learn skills needed to contribute to the creation of credible knowledge, such as research design, ethics, data collection, analysis and authoritative writing. You will develop these skills by engaging in a semester-long research project. Participation in this project will help you gain proficiency with practical research skills, including how to collect data through interviews and participant-observation and how to analyze interview transcripts and interpret field notes.

Dan Trudeau, Professor