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


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

Researching politics and society
Fare ricerca nello spazio socio-politico

A.Y. Credits
2019/2020 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 an introductory stage those two sections are going to 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 will discuss the main investigation techniques. 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 (quantitative) data analysis procedures. Students, through the use of the computer lab, will be able to familiarize themselves with some statistical package (Spss or Pspp) for data analysis using data-sets from real socio-political research activities provided by the lecturer himself.

Program

Theoretical section. Paradigms and social research approaches. Quantitative and qualitative methods. The empirical translation of the theory. Hypothesis verification: causality, experiments and statistical controlling. Sampling and sampling logic. Structure, questions and wording of the questionnaire. The official statistics sources and the analysis of electoral data. Singns of case studies and the comparative approach. The main qualitative techniques (semi-structured interview, focus group, participant observation). The logic of mixed methods research design.

Empirical section. Quantitative data analysis. Building a data matrix. Analysing variables. Basics of univariate and bivariate analysis, controlling for a third variable. Construction of types and typologies. Data visualization: charts and representation of data.

Bridging Courses

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.

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 discussed topics. Some seminars and workshops on data visualization are also planned to be done.

Dr. Martina Di Pierdomenico, subject expert, will held a 4 hours seminar on Data visualisation.

Educational material and information provided by the lecturer will be available, together with indication about 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 the computer lab. Training sessions will normally take place on Wednesday at the computer lab in Palazzo Battiferri in Via Saffi 42.

Attendance

Attendance is not required but it is strongly advised to attend class for those who want to participate in working groups activity which is part of the examination scheme. 

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 examination models:

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

2) joint examination. In this case the final evaluation consists of the sum of scores obtained in three different exam stages: 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 class 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

About data analysis test the final mark is give by the sum of the correct results. 

Regarding the workshop the assessment is given by the quality of the research desing made by the working group

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 chapters of the text book reported below

Attendance

This is a  course with no attendance requirement.

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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