About this Workshop

Statement of Purpose

Qualitative research in the social sciences poses unique challenges for researchers at all levels, but particularly graduate students. However, the conviction that it matters and that it can make meaningful contributions to our understanding of the social world drives researchers forward. We would like to create a more formal space in the department for graduate students in sociology as well as other disciplines to engage in conversations with each other and faculty about pressing issues in the field, and to help cultivate a supportive community amongst students using qualitative methods.


We meet once every 3-4 weeks, usually on Thursdays from 12-1:30pm in LSA. The format typically includes a series of questions posed to grad student and/or faculty panelists, followed by an audience Q&A. Lunch is included.  

The workshop will culminate in a two-day mini-conference here in Ann Arbor, where we will gather together with qualitative researchers (students and faculty) from Columbia University, UT-Austin and NYU as part of an ongoing effort to bring together qualitative scholars in the social sciences from across multiple universities.

Update:  In Winter 2017, we will be focusing on the craft of writing for qualitative researchers-- from writing grants and research proposals, to writing  fieldnotes, to drafting analytic memos and peer-reviewed journal articles. While norms can vary across disciplines, we expect to have some fruitful conversations about the complexities of writing, including how/where we position ourselves as researchers