INF3012H — Social Scientific Methods for Media
This course will allow students to deeply explore a methodological approach that they could use in their media focused dissertations. For the purposes of this course, “media” will be defined broadly as encompassing all types of communication media, including social media, radio and television media, mobile media, etc. The methodological approach that students choose to focus on in this course should fall within the domain of “social science,” which includes quantitative methods such as surveys, experiments, and digital trace collection, and qualitative methods such as interviews and participant observation. Hybrid approaches that draw on more than one of these methods will also be encouraged when they fit within the students’ dissertation objectives. This course will also engage students to consider ethical issues relating to their dissertation projects. Given the seminar format of this course, students will be exposed to methodological approaches chosen by other students in the class, thereby broadening their methodological foundations. Further, at the beginning of the course, students broaden and firm-up their methodological foundations by reviewing methodological approaches that are commonly used in the social sciences. It should be noted that given the limited duration of this course, we will not focus deeply on data analytics. Nevertheless, students will need to consider the types of analyses that are appropriate once they have collected data for their dissertations, and they will be encouraged to follow up on these analytic approaches through other means.