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Robert Crosnoe, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Spring 2008

SOC 388M • INTEGRATING QUAL & QUANT METHS

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
46675 T
12:00 PM-3:00 PM
BUR 214
BUCKLEY

Course Description

This course seeks to examine the possibilities and problems associated with the integration of qualitative and qualitative methodologies. In particular, it examines the importance of mixed methodological approaches for comparative research. The seminar seeks to provide participants with a "hands on" approach to data collection, evaluation, and analysis. Through individual and group assignments, we will gain experience with specific methodological approaches and ethical concerns, including familiarity with the basic epistemological challenges associated with qualitative and quantitative approaches, central issues in probability and non-probability sampling/case selection, basic survey and interview protocol construction, observational techniques, focus groups, in-depth interviews, and content analysis. Given the limited time available for the seminar, a formal grant proposal will take the place of a formal research paper as the final project. Developing a detailed mixed methods research proposal enables participants to explore the possibilities offered by mixed methods studies. Ideally, the final project for the seminar can be used for future fellowship applications or as the beginnings of a dissertation prospectus. The most important task in the seminar is to examine the ways in which combining methodological tools can strengthen the validity and reliability of research findings. At present, mixed methodological approaches are strongly encouraged by funding agencies and other academic gatekeepers, but remain relatively rare as a topic of training. While the seminar is focused primarily upon issues related to the mixing of methodology, even those anticipating a career as an acolyte of ethnography or an unapologetic analyst of secondary data can benefit from learning about the norms, methods, and principles relating to how the other half works. In each seminar we will cover key methodological elements of a variety of specific methods, explore examples of research utilizing the methodology, and discuss linkages and fissures between the key assumptions of and data generated by qualitative and quantitative approaches to epistemology and analysis.

Texts

1. Creswell, J. Research Design: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches. Sage 2. Morgan, D. Focus Groups as Qualitative Research 3. Henry, Practical Sampling 4. Fowler, Survey Research Methods 5. Fiske, Merton, Kendall, Gollin, 1990 The Focused Interview. Free Press

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