Participatory Research and Social Inquiry
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Level: Undergraduate, Graduate
Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Media Studies
Department: Media Studies
Course Number: NMDS 5288
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Social Media
  • Media Studies
This course explores participatory and qualitative approaches to designing and conducting social inquiry and behavioral research. The class focuses on applying such approaches to understanding the role of participatory media, digital narrative, and DIY cultures in social and community-based contexts, particularly in global settings. Students will examine case studies, theory and practice, as well as ethical considerations for conducting ethnographic fieldwork and qualitative research both online and in place-based communities. We will review approaches to designing qualitative studies, conducting participant observation, focus group sessions and semi-structured interviews, as well as handling informed consent, privacy, and confidentiality. The course also explores novel participatory modes of research leveraging digital media, narrative, mapping and creative expression in diverse socio-cultural settings. Finally, we examine methods for organization and analysis of qualitative data collected in the field to make sense of emerging research outcomes. Students will be expected to conduct brief exercises and devise suitable methods to propose a potential research study of interest.
Course Open to: Degree Students


Open to Graduate students.