Weekly readings and lecture topics are listed below. Please note that the Luker and Knight readings are from the textbooks available for purchase at the UofT Bookstore, and on course reserve at the Inforum (Luker) and Robarts Library (Knight). All other readings, both required and recommended, can be accessed following the library "simplelinks" provided below. These links should bring you directly to the Library's copy of the article or text - you may therefore need to log into the library website to access them. 

You will also notice that some of the weeks have both required readings, as well as a number of readings listed as "case studies." These articles are recommended, but not required. They are there to provide examples of specific methods or approaches discussed in the required readings and lecture, and should be used to supplement and expand your own understanding of these topics as needed.

Schedule of Lecture Topics and Readings

Week 1: Sept.10
Topic: Introduction, review of course organization and key themes
Required Reading:
  • Knight: pp.1-15

Week 2: Sept. 17
Topic: Major paradigms in social science research
Required Readings:
  • Luker: Chapters 1-2-3

Week 3: Sept.24
Topic: Designing research proposals – First steps
Required Readings:
  • Luker Chapter. 4-5, Appendix 1 + Knight: Chapter 2

Week 4: Oct. 1
Topic: Face-to-face human research methods
Required Readings:
  • Knight: Chapter 3
  • Lunt, P. and Livingstone, S. (1996). Rethinking the focus group in media and communications research. Journal of Communication, 46(2), 79-98. Link
  • Seiter, E. (1990). Making distinctions in TV audience research: Case study of a troubling interview. Cultural Studies, 4(1), 61-84. Link
  • Creswell, J. W. and Miller, D.L. (2000). Determining Validity in Qualitative Inquiry. Theory into Practice, 39(3), 124-30. Link
  • David Gauntlett’s Lego Serious Play Research Projects (Creative Explorations) 

Week 5: Oct. 8 - Thanksgiving Holiday - No Class

Week6: Oct. 15
Topic: Surveys, experimental and quasi-experimental research
Required Readings:
  • Luker: Chapter 6 + Knight: Chapter 4, pp.80-98
Assignment #2 Due

Week 7: Oct.22
Topic: Ethnography and participant observation
Required Readings:
  • Luker: Chapter 8
  • Shaffir, W. (1999). Doing ethnography. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 28(6), 676-686. Link
  • Stebbins, R.A. (1987). Fitting in: The researcher as learner and participant. Quality and Quantity, 21(1), 103-108. Link
  • Sandvig, C. (2006). The Internet at play: Child users of public Internet connections. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 11(4), 932-956. Link
  • Beal, B. (1996). Alternative masculinity and its effects on gender relations in the subculture of skateboarding. Journal of Sport Behavior, 19(3), 204-17. Link

Week 8: Oct. 29
Workshop on Peer Review

Group Blogs Evaluation #1

Week 9: Nov. 5
Topic: Analyzing texts and artifacts: Content and critical discourse analysis
Required Readings:
  • Knight: pp.101-13.
  • Van Dijk, T.A. (1993). Principles of Critical Discourse Analysis. Discourse and Society, 4(2), 249-283. Link
  • Thomas, S. (1994). Artifactual study in the analysis of culture: A defense of content analysis in a postmodern age. Communication Research, 21(6), 683-97. Link
  • Consalvo, M. and Dutton, N. 2006. Game analysis: Developing a methodological toolkit for the qualitative study of games. Game Studies, 6(1). Link
  • Kracauer, S. (1952). The challenge of qualitative content analysis. Public Opinion Quarterly, 16(4), 631-642. Link
Assignment #3 DUE

Week 10: 
Topic: Case studies, technology studies and mixed-method research
Required Readings:
  • Yin, R.K. (1981). The case study crisis: Some answers. Administrative Science Quarterly, 26(1), 58-65. Link
  • Beaulieu, A., Scharnhorst, A. and Wouters, P. (2007). Not another case study: A middle-range interrogation of ethnographic case studies in the exploration of e-science. Science, Technology and Human Values, 32.6, 672-692. Link
  • Pinch, T. and Bijker, W.E.H. (1987). The social construction of fact and artefacts: Or how the sociology of science and the sociology of technology might benefit each other. In W.E.H. Bijker, and T. Pinch (Eds.), The social construction of technological systems: New directions in the sociology and history of technology (pp. 17-50). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. Link
  • Feenberg, A. and Bakardjieva, M. (2002). Community technology and democratic rationalization. The Information Society, 18(3), 181-192. Link
  • Van Oost, E. (2003). Materialized gender: How shavers configure the users’ femininity and masculinity. In N. Oudshoorn and T. Pinch (Eds.) How users matter: The co-construction of users and technology (pp. 193-208). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Link

Week 11: Nov.19
Topic: Online research: Challenges and opportunities (e.g. virtual worlds)
Required Readings:
  • Star, S. L. (1999) The Ethnography of Infrastructure. American Behavioural Scientist, 43(3), 377-91.
  • Hine, C. (2009). Question one: How can qualitative internet researchers define the boundaries of their projects? In A.N. Markham and N.K. Baym (Eds.) Internet inquiry: conversations about method (pp.1-20). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. [posted on Blackboard]
  • Yadri, S., Romero, D., Schoenebeck, G., and Boyd, D. (2010). Detecting spam in a Twitter network. First Monday (Online), 15(1). Link

Week 12: Nov.26
Topic: Research ethics, and researching children and marginalized groups
Required Readings:
  • Knight Chapter 7
  • University of Toronto Office of Research Ethics Guidelines and Practices Manual, Chapters 1, 2 + sections 4.4 and 7.7. Link
  • School of Graduate Studies' Student Guide on Ethical Conduct in Research Involving Human Subjects. Link
  • Heath, S., Charles, V., Crow, G., and Wiles, R. (2007). Informed consent, gatekeepers and go-betweens: Negotiating consent in child- and youth-orientated institutions. British Educational Research Journal, 33(3), 403-417. Link
  • Cole, J. et al. (2011). GimpGirl grows up: Women with disabilities rethinking, redefining, and reclaiming community. New Media & Society, 13(7), 1161-79. 
  • Druin, A. (2005). What children can teach us: Developing digital libraries for children with children. The Library Quarterly, 75(1), 20-56. Link
  • Informed Consent in Social Research project 

Week 13: Dec.3
Topic: From research designs to data analysis and sense making
Required Readings:
  • Knight: Chapter 5, 8 + Luker Chapter 7, 10
  • Orgad, S. (2009). Question two: How can researchers make sense of the issues involved in collecting and interpreting online and offline data? In A.N. Markham and N.K. Baym (Eds.) Internet inquiry: conversations about method (pp.33-53). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. [posted on Blackboard]
  • Ollerenshaw, J.A.and Creswell, J.W. 2002. Narrative research: A comparison of two restorying data analysis approaches. Qualitative Inquiry, 8(3), pp.329-47. Link
Assignment #4 DUE