Spring 2022 - SA 856 G200

Qualitative Sociological Research Methods (5)

Class Number: 8266

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 4:30 PM – 8:20 PM
    AQ 4125, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Cristina Moretti
    Office Hours: TBA via Zoom and in-person



Examines approaches to qualitative methodology and research design in Sociology and Anthropology including epistemological and ethical debates surrounding the practice of qualitative methodology and research design in diverse contexts. Students will investigate research methods applicable to their graduate research projects. Students from other departments and faculties may enroll with permission of instructor.


This course introduces students to qualitative research methods through a combination of readings, discussions, and exercises. Ethnographic methodologies will be a main focus, and we will discuss their applications for different disciplines, including anthropology and sociology, and in regards to different audiences.

By working individually, as a class, and in small groups, we will practice observation and note-taking, discuss writing strategies and practices, prepare for and conduct different kinds of interviews, consider how to work with text, objects, and performative enactments, and experiment with multimodality. Some of the questions we will address include: for which audiences do we write, and which communities do we speak to? How do we decide on a research site? How do we address the sensory and affective aspects so central to social life and to research engagements? What are some of the ethical dilemmas that can emerge during our research? How does theory inform our research practices and in turn, how do our methods help us rethink and re-focus our theoretical directions? How do our questions and inquiries add to, complicate, rethink or challenge what counts as knowledge in different contexts and the alliances and conflicts it can generate?

Taking in consideration the current pandemic, we will also discuss how we could adapt and transform our research projects and methodologies - including how to do research online. Throughout the course, students will work on developing their own research proposals and on choosing methods they can use in their graduate research projects.


  • Letter to an author/ethnographer 10%
  • Observation exercise (includes fieldnotes, multimodal exercises, and observation) 15%
  • Interview assignment 25%
  • Research proposal 50%


Academic Honesty and Student Conduct Policies: The Department of Sociology & Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T20.01), and academic honesty and student conduct procedures (S10‐S10.05). Unless otherwise informed by your instructor in writing, in graded written assignments you must cite the sources you rely on and include a bibliography/list of references, following an instructor-approved citation style. It is the responsibility of students to inform themselves of the content of SFU policies available on the SFU website.

Centre for Accessible Learning: Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need classroom or exam accommodations are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (1250 Maggie Benston Centre) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.



Greaves, L., Reid, C., & Kirby, S. (2017). Experience, research, social change: Critical methods, 3rd ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Print ISBN: 978-1-442636040
eText ISBN: 978-1-442636064 (VitalSource)

This title is also available online through the SFU Library here (restrictions apply).

Additional readings will be available through Canvas and/or the SFU Library.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.