Qualitative Social Science Methods for Conservation Research
This workshop explores qualitative research methods that can be used to study conservation questions. Using our own PhD research studies as examples, we will discuss how we went about framing questions and designing our research studies. We will also describe our on-field experiences with three research methods (a) ethnography and participant observation of the changing relationship between women and land in rural Maharashtra (b) historical archival work on the history of land and forest use in coffee landscapes and (c) open-ended interviews and discourse analysis of the negotiations between state and central governments on forest policies. We will ask candid questions about the limitations and value of qualitative methods, the right time to use such methods and on the overlaps and contradictions with quantitative research methods.