Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


METHODOLOGY OF SOCIAL AND POLITICAL RESEARCH
METODOLOGIA DELLA RICERCA SOCIALE E POLITICA

Research methods for studying political behaviour
Metodi di ricerca per lo studio del comportamento politico

A.Y. Credits
2017/2018 10
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Luigino Ceccarini Every week by appointment
Teaching in foreign languages
Course with optional materials in a foreign language English
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

Political Science, Economics and Government (L-36)
Curriculum: PERCORSO COMUNE
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

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 parts. After a phase of introductory lecturers those two sections will be developed in parallel.

1)     The first unit will be devoted to social research techniques. After having illustrated the two main paradigms of the social sciences, this section will focus on the qualitative and quantitative methods and on the discussion of the main investigation techniques. In order to understand the empirical aspects of the social and political studies activity, a particular space will be devoted to the discussion of the real research initiatives outcomes and related methodology used.

2)  The second unit will focus on (quantitative) data analysis procedures. Students, through the use of the computer lab, will be able to familiarize themselves with some statistical package for data analysis  using data-sets from real socio-political research activities provided from the lecturer itself.

Program

Theoretical part. Paradigms and social research approaches. Quantitative and qualitative method; The empirical translation of the theory; Hypothesis verification: causality, experiments and statistical controlling; Sampling and sampling logic; the questionnaire; The official statistics sources and the analysis of electoral data; Case studies; The comparative method; The main qualitative techniques (semi-structured interview, focus group, participant observation).

Empirical part. Quantitative data analysis. Building a data matrix. Analysing variables. Basics of univariate and bivariate analysis. Construction of types and typologies. Data visualization: charts and representation of data.

Bridging Courses

Bridging courses no needed.

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 discussion.

- Applying knowledge and understanding: the students must be able to identify and apply appropriately, to real research and analysis situations, the 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 discussion; workshop and team-working, lab sessions.

- Making judgements: the 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 discussion.

- Communication skills: the 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 discussion and presenting ther works.

- Learning skills: the 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 discussion, lab sessions and workshops.

Teaching Material

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

Supporting Activities

The lecturer will provide via blended learning platform a selection of materials, and useful links in order to deepening the knowledge on the discusse topics. Some seminars and workshops on data visualization are also planned to be done.

Educational material and information provided by the professor will be available, together with other supporting acitivities, in the platform Moodle› blended.uniurb.it


Teaching, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment

Teaching

Frontal lectures with the use of audiovisual media, analysis of research outcome carried out by the LaPolis research team and training with  data analysis package in computer labs. Training sessions in the computer lab will normally take place on Wednesday at the computer lab of Palazzo Battiferri in Via Saffi 42.

Attendance

Attendance is not required.

Course books

Corbetta, P., Metodologia e tecniche della ricerca sociale, Il Mulino, Bologna 2014 (II° edizione).

Students are allowed to use the previous edition of the book which is divided in 4 volumes (2003).

Assessment

Students can choose between two different exam methods:

1) oral examination. This is recommended to students who do not attend lectures or participate only occasionally and / or do not take part to team-working (workshops) scheduled during the course;

2) joint examination. In this case the final evaluation consists of the sum of scores obtained in three different tests: A) data analysis exercise (max 6 points); B) workshop: team-work aimed at building a standardized questionnaire and defining a suitable sampling design (max 10 points); C) written examination at the end of the course (the date will be agreed with the students participating in the lessons and activities specified in the previous two points, max 14 points).

Both for the written test 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

Disabilità e DSA

Le studentesse e gli studenti che hanno registrato la certificazione di disabilità o la certificazione di DSA presso l'Ufficio Inclusione e diritto allo studio, possono chiedere di utilizzare le mappe concettuali (per parole chiave) durante la prova di esame.

A tal fine, è necessario inviare le mappe, due settimane prima dell’appello di esame, alla o al docente del corso, che ne verificherà la coerenza con le indicazioni delle linee guida di ateneo e potrà chiederne la modifica.

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students

Teaching

Studying for the exam based on the text book reported below

Attendance

Attendance is not required

Course books

Corbetta, P., Metodologia e tecniche della ricerca sociale, Il Mulino, Bologna 2014 (II° edizione).

Students are allowed to use the previous edition of the book which is divided in 4 volumes (2003).

Assessment

Oral examination according to the academic schedule of exams

Disabilità e DSA

Le studentesse e gli studenti che hanno registrato la certificazione di disabilità o la certificazione di DSA presso l'Ufficio Inclusione e diritto allo studio, possono chiedere di utilizzare le mappe concettuali (per parole chiave) durante la prova di esame.

A tal fine, è necessario inviare le mappe, due settimane prima dell’appello di esame, alla o al docente del corso, che ne verificherà la coerenza con le indicazioni delle linee guida di ateneo e potrà chiederne la modifica.

Notes

This is a "supported course", students can request to sit the final exam in English with an alternative bibliography.

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