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LU0091

The Process of Research: Qualitative Methods, Data Analysis and Academic Writing

The skills required to outline a convincing research design are some of the most crucial parts of the research that you will conduct. This is since research design forms the frame on which different other skills are assembled and connected to one another. This course is oriented towards helping you design, conduct and write up your research with a specific focus on the master thesis. In class we will discuss different approaches to research as well as problems, experiences and challenges which tend to surface during the research process. The aim is to equip you with methods, skills and tools that will help you make informed decisions during your own research and help you analyse and write academic texts. The course attempts to situate theory and methods across a wide variety of empirical settings from both the Global North and South and across contexts with examples from both rural development and environmental communication. The focus of this course is on qualitative research skills although we will discuss other approaches as well. We look forward to interesting discussions in class that will enable you to conduct and present your research in the best possible way.

Course evaluation

The course evaluation is now closed

LU0091-20064 - Course evaluation report

Once the evaluation is closed, the course coordinator and student representative have 1 month to draft their comments. The comments will be published in the evaluation report.

Additional course evaluations for LU0091

Academic year 2023/2024

The Process of Research: Qualitative Methods, Data Analysis and Academic Writing (LU0091-20214)

2023-10-31 - 2024-01-14

Academic year 2021/2022

The Process of Research: Qualitative Methods, Data Analysis and Academic Writing (LU0091-20131)

2021-11-02 - 2022-01-16

Academic year 2020/2021

The Process of Research: Qualitative Methods, Data Analysis and Academic Writing (LU0091-20131)

2020-11-02 - 2021-01-17

Academic year 2019/2020

The Process of Research: Qualitative Methods, Data Analysis and Academic Writing (LU0091-20040)

2019-11-01 - 2020-01-19

Academic year 2018/2019

The Process of Research: Qualitative Methods, Data Analysis and Academic Writing (LU0091-20106)

2018-11-05 - 2019-01-20

Academic year 2017/2018

The Process of Research: Qualitative Methods, Data Analysis and Academic Writing (LU0091-20029)

2017-10-30 - 2018-01-14

Syllabus and other information

Grading criteria

Examiners: Klara Fischer, Linus Rosén and Amelia Mutter

Course objectives as detailed in the syllabus:

  1. Select relevant research methods in relation to a given research problem

  2. Develop theoretical and practical knowledge of individually selected research methods so as to gather and analyse relevant data in relation to a specific research problem

  3. Maintain a reflexive position in relation to the selected research methods and be able to account for their scientific history and context

  4. Structure and write a scientific text

  5. Present a research proposal for a research project concerning rural and/or environmental aspects, such as rural livelihoods, natural resources management or environmental issues

  6. Construct a thorough synopsis of the proposed master thesis

  7. Present a thematic and theoretical background of the proposed master thesis

  8. Present an analysis of a published research presentation, concerning rural and/or environmental aspects, such as rural livelihoods, natural resources management or environmental problems

Grading criteria:

Assignment

Grade

1: Written synopsis of the master thesis

2: Written comments on 2 other synopses

3: Oral presentation on synopsis master thesis

4: Oral comments on one oral presentation of synopsis

5: Written assignment: methods for data collection, reflexivity and ethics

6: Literature review

7: Have a go at collecting and analysing data

8: Research proposal master thesis

Course objectives addressed:

1,5

1,2

1,5

1,2

1,3

7,8

2,3,4

1,2,3,4, 5, 6, 7, 8

5

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

In addition to 3 and 4: The student provides a scientifically advanced reasoning with high clarity around how different choice of theories/ analytical concepts affects the study outcomes.

4

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

In addition to 3: The student responds to all questions with clarity and advanced reasoning. The student is able to describe and critically reason around how different choice of theories/ analytical concepts affects the study outcomes.

3

The student presents a research problem of relevance to the subject and relevant research methods to research the problem.

The student provides constructive written comments on two synopses of master theses.

The student presents a research problem of relevance to the subject. The student presents relevant research methods to research the problem. The student can adequately respond to questions about the presentation.

The student provides relevant questions and/ or constructive oral comments on at least one oral presentation.

The student describes a thesis topic and presents relevant research methods for studying the proposed topic. The student adequately describes the concept of reflexivity and demonstrates a reflexive position in relation to the selected research methods. The student is able to briefly account for the scientific history and context of selected research methods.

The student presents a review of published research of relevance to a proposed research topic.

The student shows ability to use a chosen method for data collection and analysis to collect and analyse empirical data. The student can reason around the challenges in data collection and analysis and suggest ways of addressing perceived challenges. The student demonstrates a reflexive position in relation to the selected research methods.

The student can follow instructions and answer the questions adequately in English.

To pass the course, students have to meet all of the following:

  • hand in/ participate in 6 out of 8 mandatory assignments, including assignment 8
  • attend a minimum of five (5) lectures on data collection (lectures noted with * in Module 2)
  • attend a minimum of five (5) lectures on data analysis (lectures noted with * in Module 3)

In order to receive a higher grade, that is grade 4 or 5, all course assignments are handed in on time and receive grade 3. In addition, the student's responses to assignment 8 (research proposal) meet the criteria for the higher grades.

Litterature list

Mandatory readings

Main course books

Creswell, John W., and J. David Creswell. (2018). 5th edition. Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Sage publications. The following chapters are mandatory: 4, 5, 6, 7, 9. The rest of the book is optional. Other editions are also fine, but please note that chapter numbers refer to the fifth edition.

Robson, Colin. (2002). Real world research: A resource for social scientists and practitioner-researchers. Wiley-Blackwell. The following chapters are mandatory: Chapter 3 on Developing your ideas, Chapter 4 on General design issues, and Chapter 10 on Ethical and political considerations. The rest of the book is optional. Other editions are fine, but please note that chapter numbers refer to the fourth edition.

Other mandatory literature

Alvesson, M. (1999). Beyond Neo-Positivists, Romantics and Localists- A reflexive Approach to Interviews in Organisation Research. Institute of Economic Research Working Paper Series 28(1), 13-33.

Alvesson, Mats, and Dan Kärreman. (2007). Constructing mystery: Empirical matters in theory development." Academy of management review 32(4), 1265-1281.

Bowen, Glenn A. (2006). Grounded theory and sensitizing concepts. International journal of qualitative methods 5(3), 12-23.

Long, J. W., Ballard, H. L., Fisher, L. A., & Belsky, J. M. (2016). Questions that won't go away in participatory research. Society & Natural Resources, 29(2), 250-263.

Moon, Katie, and Deborah Blackman. (2014). A guide to understanding social science research for natural scientists. Conservation Biology 28(5), 1167-1177.

Prowse, M. (2010). Integrating reflexivity into livelihoods research. Progress in Development Studies, 10(3), 211-231.

Strang, Veronica. (2009). Integrating the social and natural sciences in environmental research: a discussion paper. Environment, Development and Sustainability 11(1), 1-18.

Swedberg, Richard. (2014). The Art of Social Theory. Princeton; Oxford: Princeton University Press. (pages 1 to 97 are mandatory, the rest of the book is optional)

Optional

Bourdieu, P. et al. (1999). "The Weight of the World: Social Suffering in Contemporary Society." Stanford, CA. Stanford University Press. Pages 1-13.

Chambers, R. (1994). The Origins and Practice of Participatory Rural Appraisal. World Development, 22(7), 953-969. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/0305-750X(94)90141-4

Fahy, Frances, and Henrike Rau, eds. (2013). Methods of sustainability research in the social sciences. Sage. Chapter 1: Sustainability Research in the Social Sciences – Concepts, Methodologies and the Challenge of Interdisciplinarity

Fischer, K., Schulz, K., & Chenais, E. (2020). Can we agree on that? Plurality, power and language in participatory research. Preventive veterinary medicine, 180 (July 2020), 104991.

Graeber, David. (2012). Dead zones of the imagination: On violence, bureaucracy, and interpretive labor: The Malinowski Memorial Lecture, 2006. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 2(2), 105-128 https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdfplus/10.14318/hau2.2.007

Jacobs, Sue-Ellen and Cassell, Joan. (1987). Handbook on ethical issues in anthropology. Introduction, chapter 1 and chapter 3. Found here: https://www.americananthro.org/LearnAndTeach/Content.aspx?ItemNumber=12895&navItemNumber=731

Jacobs, T., & Tschötschel, R. (2019). Topic models meet discourse analysis: a quantitative tool for a qualitative approach. International Journal of Social Research Methodology 22(5), 469-485. https://doi.org/10.1080/13645579.2019.1576317

Jacobson, K. (2013). From Betterment to Bt maize: Agricultural Development and the Introduction of Genetically Modified Maize to South African Smallholders (PhD Doctoral theisis). Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala. Section 2.2. as an example of literature review

Jørgensen, Marianne W., and Louise J. Phillips. (2002). Discourse analysis as theory and method. Sage. Chapter 1, introduction

Katz, Jack. From How to Why: On Luminous Description and Causal Inference in Ethnography (Part I). Ethnography. 2001;2(4):443-473. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/146613801002004001

Koot, S., & Fletcher, R. (2020). Popular Philanthrocapitalism? The Potential and Pitfalls of Online Empowerment in ‘Free’ Nature 2.0 Initiatives. Environmental Communication A: Journal of Nature and Culture 14, 287–99. https://doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2019.1649707

Kozinets, R., Dolbec, P. & Earley, A. (2014). Netnographic analysis: understanding culture through social media data. In Flick, U.* (ed)* The SAGE handbook of qualitative data analysis (pp. 262-276). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Madden, Raymond (2017). Being ethnographic: a guide to the theory and practice of ethnography. Los Angeles: SAGE (Read chapter 1 & 2)

Marquardt, Kristina, Adam Pain, and Dil Bahadur Khatri. (2020). Re-reading Nepalese landscapes: labour, water, farming patches and trees. Forests, Trees and Livelihoods 29(4), 238-259.

Mayr, P., & Weller, K. (2017). Think before you collect: Setting up a data collection approach for social media studies. In Mayr, P and Weller, K. The SAGE handbook of social media research methods, 108-124. https://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781473983847.n8

Piazza, Roberta & Wodak, Ruth. (2021). DCA - Critical Discourse Analysis. (Will be available on Canvas)

Sandelowski, Margarete. (2000). Focus on research methods: Whatever happened to qualitative description Research in Nursing & Health, 2000, 23, 334-340.

Sköllerhorn, E. (1998). Habermas and nature: The theory of communicative action for studying environmental policy. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 41(5), 555–573. https://doi.org/10.1080/09640569811452 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09640569811452?needAccess=true

Tribe, J. and M. Mkono (2017). Not such smart tourism? The concept of e-lienation. Annals of Tourism Research 66, 105-115.

Venturini, T., Bounegru, L., Gray, J., & Rogers, R. (2018). A reality check(list) for digital methods. New Media & Society, 20(11), 4195–4217. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444818769236

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: No Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 27500 SEK Cycle: Master’s level (A1N)
Subject: Environmental Science Rural Development
Course code: LU0091 Application code: SLU-20064 Location: Uppsala Distance course: No Language: English Responsible department: Department of Urban and Rural Development Pace: 100%