Syllabus

Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 session / week, 3 hours / session

Course Overview

This course focuses on a number of qualitative social science methods that can be productively used in media studies research including interviewing, participant observation, focus groups, cultural probes, visual sociology, and ethnography. The emphasis will primarily be on understanding and learning concrete techniques that can be evaluated for their usefulness in any given project and utilized as needed. Data organization and analysis will be addressed. Several advanced critical thematics will also be covered, including ethics, reciprocity, “studying up,” and risk. The course will be taught via a combination of lectures, class discussions, group exercises, and assignments. This course requires a willingness to work hands-on with learning various social science methods and a commitment to the preparation for such (including reading, discussion, and reflection).

Prerequisites

CMS.950 Workshop I

Grading

ACTIVITIES PERCENTAGES
Participation (includes leading an advanced topic discussion once) 10%
Ethics assignment 10%
Technique write-up 1 20%
Technique write-up 2 20%
Final paper 40%

Calendar

SES # TOPICS KEY DATES
1 Introduction, Ethics, and Institutional Review Boards  
2 Framing Social Science Research Ethics Assignment due
3

Participant Observation

Advanced Topic: Risk & Crime

 
4 The Monograph I  
5

Interviews

Advanced Topic: Gender, Sexuality, and Intersectionality

Visit by Nancy Baym
6

Technology

Advanced Topic: Ontology & Agency

Technique Write-up 1 due
7 Visual Materials  
8 Cultural Probes and Artifacts  
9

Usability

Advanced Topic: Studying up

 
10

Analysis

Advanced Topic: Reciprocity

Technique Write-up 2 due
11

Creating Persuasive Arguments

Advanced Topic: Generalization

 
12 The Monograph II Final Paper due two days after Session 12

Course Info

Learning Resource Types

assignment Written Assignments