METHODOLOGY OF SOCIAL AND POLITICAL RESEARCH/I
METODOLOGIA DELLA RICERCA SOCIALE E POLITICA/I
Theory, Methods and Techniques of Empirical Research
Basi teoriche, metodi e tecniche della ricerca empirica
|Lecturer||Office hours for students|
|Luigino Ceccarini||Every week in both terms: after class or by appointment|
|Teaching in foreign languages|
Course with optional materials in a foreign language
This course is entirely taught in Italian. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.
Assigned to the Degree Course
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The course aims to provide basic knowledge on the methodology of social research, with particular attention to techniques used in the analysis of political phenomena. In order to achieve the teaching objectives, the course is divided into two main sections.
1) The first unit will be devoted to theoretical issues and social research techniques. After having discussed the two main paradigms of the social sciences, this section will focus on the qualitative and quantitative methods and will consider the main investigation techniques. In particular, social experiments, the logic of causality, the basic elements of survey method, and then, the ethnographic approach, qualitative interviews, focus group techniques, content analysis with a focus on digital data. In order to understand the empirical points of social and political studies activity, a particular space will be devoted to the critical discussion of real research designs, related methodology and interpretation of main findings.
2) The second unit will focus on opinion survey method (advanced) and quantitative data analysis procedures. For this unit see the course programme of Methodology of social and political research II held by prof. Fabio Bordignon
The programme will focus on the following points.
1. Paradigms and social research approach.
2. Quantitative and qualitative methods and techniques.
3. The empirical translation of the theory.
4. Hypothesis verification: causality, experiments and statistical controlling.
5. Survey method logic and basic elements. Structure, constructing questions and wording of the questionnaire.
6. The main qualitative techniques
- semi-structured interview
- focus group
- participant observation
7. Quali-quantitative approach: content and digital data analysis.
8. The logic of mixed methods research design.
9. Ethical issues in social research.
Bridging courses are not required
Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)
- Knowledge and understanding: at the end of the course students must have acquired the knowledge of the basic theoretical elements, concepts and main techinques of social and political research methodology. Educational methods used to reach these goals: frontal lectures, workshop, lab sessions, seminars with scholars and experts, class discussions.
- Applying knowledge and understanding: students must be able to identify and apply appropriately, to real research and analysis situations, concepts, models and techniques presented throughout the course. In particular, they must be able to apply the acquired knowledge to the analysis of the transformation of politics and political behaviour. Educational methods used to reach these goals: frontal lectures, seminars with scholars and experts, class discussions; workshop and team-working, lab sessions.
- Making judgements: students will strengthen their ability to connect the concepts, theories and research techniques presented throughout the course, their ability to deal with complex research problems and questions independently, to make judgements and critical reflections about political phenomena and their transformations. Educational methods used to reach these goals: frontal lectures, workshops and team-working, seminars with scholars and experts, class discussions.
- Communication skills: students must be able to clearly and incisively communicate, appropriately using the lexicon, the concepts and the techniques of research. Educational methods used to reach these goals: the students will be asked to interact with the lecturer and with their colleagues, asking questions and actively participating to class discussions and publicly presenting ther works.
- Learning skills: students are supposed to develop adequate learning skills, so as to be able to extend and independently deepen the knowledge acquired throughout the course, following new paths of theoretical reflection or research. Educational methods used to reach these goals: frontal lectures, audio-visual materials, seminars with scholars and experts, class discussions, lab sessions and workshops.
The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it
The lecturer will provide via blended learning platform a selection of materials, and useful web-links in order to deepen the knowledge on the topics that will be discussed during class.
Seminars on the diverse topics concerning empirical research are scheduled.
Educational material and information provided by the lecturer will be available, together with an indication about other supporting activities, in the platform Moodle› blended.uniurb.it (see the section devoted to the course)
Teaching, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment
Frontal lessons with the aid of audiovisual media, analysis and discussion of research outcome carried out by the LaPolis research group and other national and international scholars.
Class attendance is not required. Attendance is recommended and students who will attend for at least 75% of the class hours will be considered "attending student".
- Course books
Corbetta, P., Metodologia e tecniche della ricerca sociale, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2014 (2nd Edition), Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12. Paragraphs to study will be communicated to "attending student" during class.
Students are allowed to study the previous edition of the textbook subdivided into 4 volumes (2003) following the content of the chapter reported above and related to the 2nd edition of the volume.
Students can choose between two different examination models:
1) oral examination. This is recommended to students who do not attend class or participate only occasionally;
2) written examination at the end of the course (the date will be agreed with the students attending class, seminars and discussion sessions).
Both for the written and the oral test, the evaluation criteria are as follows:
- relevance of responses to the content of the program;
- level of response articulation;
- relevance of the language used
Additional Information for Non-Attending Students
Studying for the exam is based on the chapters of the text book reported below
This is a course with no attendance requirement.
- Course books
Corbetta, P., Metodologia e tecniche della ricerca sociale, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2014 (2nd Edition), Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12.
Students are allowed to study the previous edition of the textbook subdivided into 4 volumes (2003) following the content of the selected chapters reported above and related to the 2nd edition of the volume.
Oral examination according to the academic schedule of exams
This is a "supported course". Students are able to request to sit the final exam in English studying material written in this language upon agreement with the professor.
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