14210 Qualitative Research Methods (MA) 1

Credits: 3 graduate credits in Cultural Studies or in Democracy Studies

Prerequisites for Cultural Studies: Three of the following courses: Society, Culture and Representation; Theories and Approaches in Cultural Studies; Anthropological and Sociological Approaches to Cultural Studies; Multiculturalism in Israel

Prerequisites for Democracy Studies: Democracy: An Interdisciplinary Approach, Israeli Democracy: Selected Issues, Contemporary Democratic Theories; and one of the following: Democracy and Democratization, Selected Problems in the History of Western Democracies, Education Policy: Education for Democracy in Democratic Societies, Democracy and Mass Communication,2 Selected Topics in Public Administration

The course is based on a translation of chapters from Qualitative Researching with Text, Image and Sound: A Practical Handbook, edited by M. Bauer and G. Gaskell (Sage, 2000), and on a collection of articles edited by Tamar Liebes, Motti Regev and David Levin.

Qualitative research methods are an essential foundation of the social sciences. This course introduces students to a selection of qualitative research methods and provides them with basic skills needed for performing qualitative research.

The course presents the essence and nature of qualitative research, the empirical and interpretive logic that guides it, and its development in the social sciences. The course guides students on how to collect data through diverse research methods: various types of interviews, observations, visual and audio materials from archives or recordings. The course also deals with analyzing various types of texts: written, recorded and visual (still pictures and films). Central to the course is the theoretical basis for the anthropological and ethnographic perspective toward the field. The course discusses and exemplifies how to approach ethnographic work; that is, how to make contact with the field and to perform observations in practice.

Chapters: Corpus construction: A principle for qualitative data collection; Individual and group interviewing; Video, film and photographs as research documents; Classical content analysis; Discourse analysis; Analysis of conversation and talk; Semiotic analysis of still images; Analysis of moving images; Analyzing noise and music as social data; Fallacies in interpreting historical and social data.

Topics of articles: The discipline and practice of qualitative research; Ethics and qualitative research; From the native’s point of view; Entering the field; Observations and learning in the field; Interviewing women: A contradiction in terms; Fieldwork as homework; Semiotic research on Palestinians and Israelis in the media.

1Students who took Qualitative Research Methods (10748) as part of their undergraduate studies may not take this course.

2or Liberalism: Texts, Contexts, Critiques (12005), for students who took it as a required course in the Culture specialization before Spring 2010.