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Qualitative Inquiry in the Social Sciences - SSCI201

When informed by social theory and incorporated into a methodological framework, qualitative inquiry can garner valuable insights into the meanings, perceptions and contexts of social life. Researchers using qualitative approaches typically work with unstructured data, and study a small number of cases in detail. They gather data from a variety of human interactions and artefacts, including talk, behaviour, documents, places and objects. This unit asks: how can we design robust methodologies with qualitative methods to develop credible responses to interesting research questions? Building on SSCI100, this unit focuses on all elements of the qualitative research process, including the inductive logic of qualitative research design and analysis, as well as the interrelationships between these key elements of methodology. Specifically the unit covers the following elements: developing research questions appropriate for qualitative approaches; qualitative research design; key qualitative methods and method selection; instrument design; qualitative fieldwork; ethical challenges and responsibilities in qualitative research; data management, basics in qualitative analysis; and, communicating results. It pays particular attention to what is involved in ethically applying popular methods such as observation and interviewing techniques, and, thinking critically about data analysis.

Credit Points: 3
When Offered:

S1 Day - Session 1, North Ryde, Day

S1 External - Session 1, External (On-campus sessions: None)

Staff Contact(s): Dr Adam Stebbing

(15cp including SSCI100) and (admission to BSocSc or BSocScLLB) Prerequisite Information


NCCW(s): SSCI200, SSCI300
Unit Designation(s):
Unit Type:
Assessed As: Graded
Offered By:

Department of Sociology

Faculty of Arts

Course structures, including unit offerings, are subject to change.
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