Research Design

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
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.
Course syllabus and organization

Unique edition

Lesson period
Third trimester
Course syllabus
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.
Teaching methods
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;
Assessement methods and criteria
The exam is oral.
SPS/07 - GENERAL SOCIOLOGY - University credits: 9
Lessons: 60 hours
Educational website(s)
Monday 15:00 to 18:00
Department room n. 217 Due to the virus emegency contacts can be done by telephone and email