Qualitative Research Methods

Offered at Union College, Fall 2007

T-Th 10:55 AM - 12:40 PM
Blue 105

Course Description

This course will introduce the methods used by anthropologists to undertake research describing and analyzing aspects of the social and cultural world around them. We will begin by examining the research act as a scientific endeavor and then continue by exploring and using common research methods employed by anthropologists today. Through a variety of in- class and outside of class exercises, you will gather and analyze some data on your own and assist me in analyzing data that I am currently working on in some of my own projects. By the end of the course, you should have a good idea about and some practical experience in evaluating the research of others and planning and conducting your own research in terms of 1) identifying reasonable research problems, 2) selecting appropriate research methods, 3) developing research strategies, 4) collecting and analyzing data, and 5) reporting research findings in written and oral form. Throughout the course, we will focus on the ethics of undertaking research and the effects of the political climate in which research takes place.

Course Texts (all available at the Union Bookstore):

H. Russell Bernard, Research Methods in Cultural Anthropology (4th edition)

Michael Angrosino, Doing Cultural Anthropology (2006 edition)

Michael Agar, The Professional Stranger (1996 edition)