Department of Sociology

Syllabus for Social Scientific Methods

Samhällsvetenskapliga metoder

Syllabus

Decisions and guidelines

This course is a compulsory skill course within the Master Programme in the Social Sciences.

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student should:


  • be able to formulate scientific problems and argue for their basis in the philosophy of science.

  • be able to justify a research design and its operationalisation with a starting point in different philosphical perspectives.

  • be able to discuss how analysis and results are influenced by methodology.

  • carry out analyses of social scientific data where methodology is of central importance.

  • be well equipped to critically review and discuss the methodological considerations and philosophical foundations that underlie scientific studies.

Content

The course aims to provide the students with advanced knowledge in the area that encompasses the philosophy of science, methodology and methods. By means of the thematic starting point "research design" the students can acquire a method of working that includes knowledge of how philosophical starting points and choice of methods are dependent on one another. One aim of the course is that the students should acquire a sound knowledge and understanding of different perspectives and methods within the main areas and themes of the social sciences.

The course is organised around the theme of "research design", which means that the course starts with the importance of different philosophies of science for the formulation of a problem, choice of methodology and operationalisation. Thereafter, there is further discussion regarding some of the central methods used by social scientists and how these methods have developed parallel with the development of different philosophical perspectives. Central concepts are subject-object, agency-structure, case studies and ethnographical studies, and the possibility to generalise versus the specific. Finally, different analytical approaches and the presentation of results are discussed.

A considerable part of the course is devoted to seminar discussion of texts where research design and methodology as well as philosophical perspectives are "traced" and discussed.

Instruction

The teaching can consist of lectures, lessons, group exercises and seminars.

Assessment

The course is examined through written assignments and active seminar participation.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 36, 2018

  • Alvesson, Mats; Gabriel, Yiannis; Paulsen, Roland Return to meaning [Elektronisk resurs] : a social science with something to say

    1 ed.: Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.

    Table of Contents / Abstracts

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Breuer, Franz Roth, Wolff-Michael Subjectivity and Reflexivity in the Social Sciences : Epistemic Windows and Methodical Consequences

    Part of:

    Forum, qualitative social research

    Bonn: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft,

    vol. 4 (2003) nr. 2

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Daston, Lorraine Objectivity and the Escape from Perspective

    Part of:

    Social studies of science.

    [London]: SAGE Publications, 1999-

    vol. 22 (1992) nr. 4 s. 597-618

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Gieryn, Thomas F. Cultural boundaries of science : credibility on the line

    Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999

    p. 1‒35, 65‒114, 336‒362

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Hancké, Bob Intelligent research design : a guide for beginning researchers in the social sciences

    Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

    p. 10-34.

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Labinger, Jay A. The One Culture? [electronic resource] : A Conversation about Science [Elektronisk resurs]

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Latour, Bruno; Callon, Michael Unscrewing the big Leviathan : or how actors macrostructure reality, and how sociologists help them to do so?

    Part of:

    Knorr-Cetina, Karin; Cicourel, Aaron V. Advances in social theory and methodology : toward an integration of micro- and macro-sociologies

    Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1981

    p. 277-303

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Law, John Making a Mess with Method

    Law, John, 2006

    http://www.heterogeneities.net/publications/Law2006MakingaMesswithMethod.pdf

    Mandatory

  • Law, John And if the global were small and noncoherent? : Method, complexity, and the baroque

    Part of:

    Environment and planning. [Elektronisk resurs]. : D Society & space

    London: Pion, 1996-

    vol. 22 (2004) nr. 1 s. 13-26

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Ruppert, Evelyn, Evelyn; Law, John; Savage, Mike Reassembling Social Science Methods : The Challenge of Digital Devices

    Part of:

    Theory, culture & society.

    London: Sage Publications, 1982-

    vol. 30 (2013) nr. 4 s. 22-46

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Shapin, Steven The sciences of subjectivity

    Part of:

    Social studies of science.

    [London]: SAGE Publications, 1999-

    vol. 42 (2012) nr. 2 s. 170-184

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Swedberg, Richard Theorizing in social science : the context of discovery

    Stanford: Stanford Social Sciences, an imprint of Stanford University Press, 2014

    p. 1-28

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

Reading list revisions