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F&ES 551 01 (13524)  
Social Science Qualitative Research Methods
Amity Doolittle
TTh 9.00-10.20 KRN 319
Fall 2013 
 
3 credits. A broad introduction to issues of social sciences research methods and design. Emphasis in the readings and lectures is placed on qualitative methods such as interviews, participant observation, and participatory appraisal, although consideration is given to the ways that quantitative approaches can be used to support qualitative approaches to research. No prior knowledge of methodology or statistics is expected or assumed. The course is intended both for doctoral students who are in the beginning stage of their dissertation research, and for master's students developing research proposals for their thesis projects. The course covers the basic techniques for collecting, interpreting, and analyzing qualitative data. During the term we explore three interrelated dimensions of research. One focuses on the theoretical foundations of science and research, another focuses on the various methods available to researchers for data collection and analysis, and finally we complete exercises in the practical application of various methods. In the course we consciously address the unique nature of social science research within environmental studies. One significant premise underlies this class: some of the most important questions addressed in environmental studies have such complex solutions that traditional positivist scientific approaches have limited application.