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Introduction to Qualitative Methods (SPS-MECHE-QM-22)

SPS-MECHE-QM-22


Department SPS
Course category SPS Methods Seminar
Course type Seminar
Academic year 2022-2023
Term 1ST TERM
Credits 20 (EUI SPS Department)
Professors
Contact Dittmar, Pia Deborah
  Course materials
Sessions

26/09/2022 15:00-17:00 @ Refectory, Badia Fiesolana

27/09/2022 15:00-17:00 @ Refectory, Badia Fiesolana

28/09/2022 15:00-17:00 @ Refectory, Badia Fiesolana

29/09/2022 15:00-17:00 @ Refectory, Badia Fiesolana

30/09/2022 15:00-17:00 @ Refectory, Badia Fiesolana

03/10/2022 9:00-11:00 @ Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana

10/10/2022 9:00-11:00 @ Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana

17/10/2022 9:00-11:00 @ Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana

24/10/2022 9:00-11:00 @ Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana

07/11/2022 9:00-11:00 @ Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana

14/11/2022 9:00-11:00 @ Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana

21/11/2022 9:00-11:00 @ Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana

28/11/2022 9:00-11:00 @ Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana

05/12/2022 9:00-11:00 @ Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana

12/12/2022 9:00-11:00 @ Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana

Purpose

This is a course about how to evaluate and conduct rigorous, epistemologically plural qualitative research. It will both introduce you to key concepts and methods – cause and case studies, positionality and ethnography, say – and show how they work in practice. Seminar sessions will be divided in two – a conceptual introduction and overview that is then followed by examples drawn from key topics and sub-fields within SPS. The goal is not for you to become methodologists, but to be smart consumers and users of qualitative methods in your own studies and reading.

Description

The course has three parts. We begin with two sessions on foundational issues: philosophy, theory, causation and ethics. Methods can flow from various philosophical starting points; process tracing and ethnography – for example – are distinct techniques for gathering and evaluating data that draw upon different epistemologies. The chosen epistemology, in turn, attunes the scholar to certain research questions and not others; to seeing theory’s role in different ways; to differing understandings of cause; and to contrasting appreciations of ethics. Why do proponents of case studies champion their causal power while saying little about the ethics in play, while – for the ethnographer – ethics stand front and center, but causality – if even discussed – is bounded, contextualized and local?

The bulk of the course then provides an introduction to a number of qualitative methods. Each seminar session introduces a particular technique, provides a critical net assessment, and explores how the method works in practice. The latter is accomplished by drawing upon empirical research in the social and political sciences. Finally – in the last two sessions – we look to the future, exploring the cutting-edge for students of qualitative research: research transparency and mixed methods.

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Page last updated on 21 September 2018

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