Qualitative Inquiry for
HBCU/MSI Researchers

May 19-21, 2021
Courses offered exclusively in online format

Prairie View A&M University

Course Descriptions

Scholar Instructor: Johnny Saldaña

Date: Wednesday, May 19

This one-day workshop introduces participants to basic approaches for qualitative inquiry. Primary topics addressed will include:

  • A survey of qualitative data collection methods: interviewing, participant observation, documents/artifacts
  • Qualitative research design
  • A survey of qualitative data analytic methods
  • Writing and presenting qualitative research

Multiple practical activities will be included throughout the course to provide students with experiential knowledge, skill building, and methods literacy. Newcomers to qualitative inquiry will benefit from this course by gaining workshop experience in the fundamental methods of qualitative research for future study and application. Experienced qualitative researchers will benefit from this course by refreshing their knowledge bases of methods, plus observing how introductory material is approached with novices for future applications in the classroom.

Course content will be adapted from Saldaña’s Fundamentals of Qualitative Research (2011, Oxford), and Saldaña and Omasta’s textbook, Qualitative Research: Analyzing Life (2018, Sage).

Scholar Instructor: Fred Bonner

Date: Wednesday, May 19

One of the most critical topics that researchers must address is how to frame and operationalize a research agenda. From developing a researchable topic to revising and resubmitting a peer-reviewed publication, understanding the complexities of navigating the research terrain is key. This course will focus on the critical steps necessary to develop an active and strategic research agenda. It is ideally targeted for those establishing an agenda in qualitative and/or mixed methods research. Participants will engage in both theoretical and practical considerations in an effort to divine strategies leading to the development of a clear and concise research agenda.

Specific objectives of the course include:

  • To understand how to position and sustain a research agenda
  • To understand the publication process.
  • To provide participants with tools to move their research agenda forward
  • To understand the importance of mentoring
  • To understand the importance of and practices for establishing networks

Topics that will be addressed include:

  • Framing and maintaining a research agenda
  • Writing for publication
  • Successful mentoring approaches
  • Establishing networks
  • Preparing the tenure and promotion dossier
  • Skillsets to be successful in academia
  • Time management and work/life harmony
  • Additional topics generated by our assembled participants

Scholar: Keon Gilbert

Date: Wednesday, May 19

This course presents an overview of photovoice as a participatory qualitative method that
provides a way for community members to take and share photographs that express the strengths and needs of their community. These photographs can be used as a tool to speak to decision makers.

Photovoice is a form of participatory action research that confronts a fundamental research problem: The priorities of professionals, researchers, specialists, and outsiders may completely fail to match what the community thinks is important. By using cameras, community members document their lives and share their photographs to create powerful visual images that communicate their current realities and envision future realities.

When these images and the stories they tell are presented to a range of stakeholders and decision makers, they can serve as a means of catalyzing community change and assessing root causes to social problems. Because invested parties engage in conversations privileging community members’ priorities, these discussions can stimulate policy—and social change—at local and national levels. At its root, the principles and practices of a community-centered photovoice project align with the principles and goals that guide major theories of inequities in income, health, and social justice.

In addition to addressing the theoretical and political importance of photovoice, the course will also allow participants to engage in a photovoice session to learn how to apply this method within a study and as a tool for evaluation.

Scholar Instructor: Kelly Jackson

Date: Wednesday, May 19

Drawing from the therapeutic construct of cultural attunement (Jackson and Samuels, 2019), this course explores how qualitative researchers can conceive and implement meaningful research that matters to the lives of individuals, families, and/or communities from historically oppressed racial and ethnic groups. Participants will engage principles associated with designing socially just and culturally attuned qualitative methods, including principles of critical reflexivity and cultural safety and humility across all phases of a research study. More specifically, the course will engage these objectives:

  • To understand the power dynamics in the research relationship and to mitigate imbalances through strategies of critical reflexivity, decentering, transparency, reciprocity, and accountability. 
  • To understand and articulate research stance and positionality to strengthen the researchers’ cultural attunement. 
  • To reflect upon ethics and anti-oppressive practices to collaboratively develop research with, rather than on individuals, families, and/or communities from historically oppressed racial/ethnic groups. 
  • To engage in experiential learning exercises that facilitate opportunities for participants to better understand their vantage point as both research insiders and outsiders. 
  • To produce thoughtful and provocative analyses that challenge dominant narratives by centering the diverse life stories of historically oppressed racial/ethnic individuals, families, groups, and/or communities.
  • To recognize and prevent social justice fatigue within the current socio-political context.

Jackson, K. F. & Samuels, G. M. (2019). Multiracial Cultural Attunement. Washington DC: NASW Press.

Scholar Instructors: Ray Maietta and Alison Hamilton

Dates: Thursday-Friday, May 20-21

The Sort and Sift, Think and Shift qualitative data analysis approach, created by Ray Maietta and his consulting team at ResearchTalk Inc., is an iterative process, where analysts dive into data to understand its content, dimensions and properties, and then step back to assess what they have learned in order to bridge findings with current conversations in their field and to assess implications for practice. The method combines tenets and practices from phenomenology, grounded theory, case study and narrative research. The ResearchTalk team has utilized and taught this approach for over a decade to qualitative researchers across disciplines and industries.

This process of “diving in” and “stepping back” is repeated throughout the analytic process. Researchers move from establishing an understanding of what is in the data to exploring their relationship to the data. To conclude, they arrive at an evidence-based meeting point that is a hybrid story of data content and researcher knowledge.

Each phase of the Sort and Sift method features a toolkit to facilitate analytic activities.

  • The “Diving In” toolkit features tools to use as you read, review, recognize and record your observations during data review.
  1. Quotation identification and data inventory – finding powerful quotations in your data and creating an inventory of powerful data segments for each data collection episode
  2. Diagramming as an analysis tool – using visual diagrams to think aloud about connections in data and ‘bridging’ key ideas in your analysis
  3. Memoing – writing for discovery
  4. Episode profiles – using diagrams and memos to create visual and written sketches of data collection episodes
  5. Topic monitoring – creating and managing topics, themes and attributes

The “diving in” tools of the Sort and Sift method are necessarily interdependent and synergistic.

  • The “Stepping Back” toolkit features tools to use as you reflect, re-strategize and re-orient after your “diving in” phases of analysis.
    1. Mining – mining through memos, topics, document summaries and episode profiles.
    2. Bridging – discovering connections within and across data documents.
      • Story Evolution Tool – interrogating data to understand better how key actors, places, time periods, actions, attitudes and emotions interact in the lives of our participants.
      • Concept Combination Tool – using the Sort and Sift tools to discern shared meaning across developing ideas.
      • Reflection Tools – using memoing and diagramming techniques to help  discover, understand and document

The “stepping back” tools of the Sort and Sift method are necessarily interdependent and synergistic.

The iterative back and forth between these phases allows you to bridge emergent findings and concepts to conversations and practices currently engaged by your colleagues.

Scholar: Elijah Anderson

Dates: Thursday-Friday, May 20-21

This course provides knowledge and insight into the ethnographic method. The ethnographic approach to social research involves substantive and methodological issues. Anderson’s classic work, A Place on the Corner (2nd ed., 2003, University of Chicago), and his more recent book, Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City (1999, W. W. Norton), are used as examples to describe, analyze and explain the process of selecting a social setting, “getting in,” writing field notes, “making sense,” and representing ethnographic research. He will also discuss his most recent ethnographic work on race and public space, including The Cosmopolitan Canopy (2012, W. W. Norton), “The Iconic Ghetto” (2012, The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Sage) and “The White Space” (2015, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, Sage). The course will consist of informal lectures in a seminar-style/workshop format. Participants are encouraged to bring their own work for commentary and assistance, as time permits.

Scholar: Rashawn Ray

Dates: Thursday-Friday, May 20-21

This course provides knowledge and insight into the ethnographic method. The ethnographic approach to social research involves substantive and methodological issues. Anderson’s classic work, A Place on the Corner (2nd ed., 2003, University of Chicago), and his more recent book, Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City (1999, W. W. Norton), are used as examples to describe, analyze and explain the process of selecting a social setting, “getting in,” writing field notes, “making sense,” and representing ethnographic research. He will also discuss his most recent ethnographic work on race and public space, including The Cosmopolitan Canopy (2012, W. W. Norton), “The Iconic Ghetto” (2012, The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Sage) and “The White Space” (2015, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, Sage). The course will consist of informal lectures in a seminar-style/workshop format. Participants are encouraged to bring their own work for commentary and assistance, as time permits.

Scholar: Glenda Prime

Dates: Thursday-Friday, May 20-21