This seminar aims to introduce doctoral students to key elements of qualitative research: 1) its main traditions and paradigms, in particular 'mainstream' qualitative research aiming for theory-testing and by and large grounded in the assumptions of positivism, and interpretive research aiming for an understanding of deeper structures of meaning that shape the social and political world; 2) the specificities, uses and limitations of qualitative research and their implications for the research process and research design; 3) the main approaches to data collection and analysis, in particular documentary/archival research, qualitative interviewing, focus groups and ethnographic research; content-based types of analysis and interpretive types of analysis such as discourse and narrative analysis.
The aim of this workshop is twofold: students who do (or consider doing) qualitative research will find some "food for thought" as to how what they do or consider doing fits into the wider universe of research methodology, and what key difficulties they should be prepared to deal with; students who do not work with qualitative methods should acquire a basic "literacy" in qualitative research so as to be able to understand what other researchers do and think about it constructively.
Please see the course description in the download area for more details.
About the lecturer
Dr Lea Sgier is an assistant professor at the Political Science Department of Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, and an associate researcher and lecturer at the University of Geneva. She is also an instructor at various social science methodology summer schools and doctoral programmes in and outside Europe.