The students will be equipped with the conceptual and empirical tools to understand the most salient features and the most relevant consequences of today's processes in a number of significant social domains.
Expected learning outcomes
By the end of the course students will acquire the ability to critically evaluate and discuss the impact, development and use of the topics covered during the course. The final exam aims to verify the expected learning outcomes in relation to these topics.
Lesson period: Third trimester
(In case of multiple editions, please check the period, as it may vary)
Content of modules 1 and 2: Scientific propositions and everyday sentences Theories and hypotheses: how to control propositions Different types of explanations in the social sciences From concepts to variables Quantitative and qualitative approaches The research design and its steps Data organization and processing What kind of data are good for testing hypotheses Reliability and validity of research results
Content of module 3: Individual and relational approaches The theoretical origins of the relational approach Basic concepts: actor/subject, relation, tie, group, structure Relational data collection Graphical techniques in network analysis (sociograms) Matrix analysis of networks and main structural concepts and statistics Groups detection and sub-group analysis Data reduction methods Role theory and structural equivalence
Prerequisites for admission
No preliminary knowledge is requested, but students without a basic background in Social Research Techniques are invited to take advantage of the following preliminary text: P. Corbetta, Social Research, London, Sage, 2003.
Lessons in classroom with participation to discussion of examples and applications proposed by the teacher
Students attending the lessons: Module 1-2, Slides provided by the teacher Module 3, Slides provided by the teacher
Students not attending the lessons: Module 1-2, Elster J. Explaining Social Behavior, Cambridge Univ. Press, New York, 2007 OR Elster J. la spiegazione del comportamento sociale, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2010;
Module 3, J. Scott, Social Network Analysis, Sage, London, 2nd edition 2000 OR A.M. Chiesi, L'analisi dei reticoli, Franco Angeli, Milano, 2nd edition 1999;