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Introduction to Social Science

The course provides an overview of epistemological and methodological concepts, issues and techniques concerning the production of scientifically relevant knowledge in the domain of social sciences. It is designed and intended for an audience of post-graduate or doctoral students coming from both quantitative and qualitative backgrounds, therefore including students of natural and applied sciences. It proceeds from the illustration of key basic concepts in defining research activities and production of knowledge, with particular reference to their historical evolution in philosophical debates, to the clarification of methodological choices for a number of social science disciplines, to the exploration of themes which are contingent to methodological questions, such as methodological pluralism and interdisciplinarity, ethics of scientific research and effective communication. The course will also focus on Sustainable Development Goals to illustrate examples related from current global issue in order to illustrate the nexus between social science, technological applications, and social transformation.
At the end of the course, the student should have familiarised with the key concepts informing epistemological and methodological debates in social science, such as hypothesis, theory, falsification, verification, covering law, causality, with particular consideration for positivistic paradigms and anti- or post-positivistic reactions.
The student should be aware of the specific difficulties of social scientific disciplines in studying human societies arising from the problematic separation between the studied object and the studying subject, and the link between social science and the political dimension.
He should familiarise with problems of social research design, starting from the specificities characterizing the various stages of social science research.
The student should become aware of the functional classification of social science methods in qualitative and quantitative, familiarising with a number of techniques in both domains, while grasping that contemporary social research increasingly requires the application of different methods and interdisciplinary approaches, which also lead to the necessity of teamwork coordination.
The course also aims at providing a large variety of examples where the concepts and principles described above find their application and didactical clarification. Those examples will focus in particular on the study of technology and its social impact, especially drawing on SGDs.
Finally, the student should become aware of the moral implications, limits and rules informing social science research, as well as of the role and importance of effective communication in the social sciences.
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時間割/共通科目コード
コース名
教員
学期
時限
5112250
GPP-MP5P10L3
Introduction to Social Science
ORSI Roberto
A1 A2
集中
マイリストに追加
マイリストから削除
教室
講義使用言語
英語
単位
2
実務経験のある教員による授業科目
NO
他学部履修
開講所属
公共政策学教育部
授業計画
This is an intensive class which takes place in four Saturdays in the months of October, November, December, and January. Each day will have from three to four teaching unit of 100 minutes each. Provisionally, the schedule is indicated as follows: Lecture 1: Introduction to the Course Lecture 2: Science, Epistemology and Methodology Lecture 3: Methodology of Social Sciences Lecture 4: Stages of Social Science Research Lecture 5: Quantitative Methods I (how to quantify non-quantitative phenomena) Lecture 6: Quantitative Methods II (introduction to economic analysis) Lecture 7: Qualitative Methods Lecture 8: Qualitative Methods (Case study on Qualitative Methods) Lecture 9: Causality Lecture 10: Climate Change: Technological and Social Perspectives Lecture 11: Ethics of Social Science Research Lecture 12: Objectivity and Emancipation in the Social Sciences Lecture 13: Wrap-up Lecture
授業の方法
Lecture; seminar; group discussion; group presentation.
成績評価方法
Students will be assessed according to the quality of their performance with reference to Attendance and Class Contribution (10%) Group Presentation (20%) Final Written Report (70%) The Group Presentation is a short, 8 minutes presentation on a relevant topic which will take place after the last class. Students will be allocated to groups after the first half of the course and will be given time to prepare. The presentation should include a maximum number of four powerpoint slides. In order to promote an adequate teamwork spirit, every component of the group will receive the same evaluation, based on the performance of the group as a whole. The Final Report will consist in a 2,000 word referenced essay. Instructions will be provided.
教科書
John Gerring, Social Science Methodology. A Unified Framework, Second Edition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012
参考書
Readings will be indicated by the teacher for each class.
履修上の注意
Once the student has committed to the course, attendance is mandatory. Please come to class on time.