small-scale case study

For this coursework you will undertake a small-scale case study where you gather and analyse three kinds of qualitative data. The aims of this exercise are to assess your abilities to: 1. undertake a qualitative study using three different techniques; 2. develop a preliminary analysis of your data; 3. discuss the methodological issues that arise in selecting particular research methods and in undertaking qualitative research. To successfully accomplish the coursework you will: identify a setting in which to undertake your research; undertake fieldwork; undertake one or two semi-structured interviews; and either gather audio or audio visual recordings of naturally occurring activities, or documents and images relevant to the setting or activities in question. As part of undertaking your case study you will: make detailed field notes; document and where necessary transcribe materials from your interview(s) or transcriptions from the data you collect; identify and discuss one or two themes or issues that arise from your data; support your discussion of these themes or issues with regard to the data you have gathered; discuss the methodological issues that informed and arose from your study; discuss the implications of your findings for future research. We do not wish to restrict the kinds of activity you may study. Therefore, you can choose to observe any organisation or social setting. This may be one with which you are familiar or one you are interested in. In previous years students have undertaken studies in a diverse range of settings including those in workplaces, public places and the home. It is also up to the student to identify an aspect of social behaviour on which to focus. In the past examples of what students have focussed on include: informal interaction in an office; the work of security staff in an accommodation block; how receptionists greet customers; the ways customers justify returning goods they have bought; customer behaviour in show rooms for luxury goods; conversations with hairdressers, waiting behaviour in stations; how street performers maintain an audience; how visitors to a museum inspect exhibits together; the etiquette of a nightclub queue, how customers in a busy caf manage to secure a table to sit at and how people co-ordinate the order in which they go through revolving doors. Although the choice is up to you, you cannot choose the same setting as one you have used for another piece of coursework in a different module. We suggest one of three kinds of setting 1. a workplace (e.g. a place where you, a friend or a member of your family work); 2. a public service (e.g. a form of transportation, a help, advice or reception service) 3. a public setting (e.g. a museum or gallery, a shopping mall, a tourist venue)

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