93801 - Research Methods For The Social Sciences

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Docente: Davide Ruggieri
  • Credits: 8
  • SSD: SPS/07
  • Language: English
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Forli
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Interdisciplinary research and studies on Eastern Europe (cod. 8049)

Learning outcomes

The course aims to reconstruct the debate on the Method in the social sciences and aims to offer students a framework of the strategies and techniques of detection and analysis most frequently used in socio-political empirical research. The course is dedicated to students who have never dealt with topics related to the Method and techniques of Social Research, neither from the theoretical point of view nor from the empirical point of view. The course focuses on some central themes of the Methodology of empirical Research in the Social Sciences. At the end of the course the student is expected to: - have a basic knowledge of some central themes of the Epistemology of empirical Research; - know how to apply logic elements in the preparation of research design and in the interpretation of the results of an investigation; - to critically evaluate the quantitative and qualitative empirical investigations presented in journals and/or academic publications; - have the ability to find information by consulting the available databases; - use the basic statistical analysis techniques for the description of economic, political and social phenomena.

Course contents

    The teaching will deal with the following topics:

    1. Introduction to social research;
    2. Epistemological debate on social research;
    3. Theories and sociological approaches;
    4. Research Design;
    5. Work on texts.



P.Corbetta, Social Research. Theory, Methods and Techniques, SAGE, London 2003 (PART ONE: ch. 1 and 2; PART TWO: ch. 3; PART THREE: ch. 9-10)

D.O'Byrne, Introducing Sociological Theory, Routledge, London 2011

B.Hancké, Intelligent research design: a guide for beginning researchers in the social sciences. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2009 (ch.5+ appendix)

K.Gustafsson&L.Hagstrom, “What is the point? Teaching Graduate Students how to Construct Political Science Research Puzzles.” European Political Science, pp. 1‐15 (first online, 31 July 2017).

G.Simmel, On individuality and social Forms. Selected writings, Chicago University Press, Chicago 2015 (Essays: "The Problem of Sociology"; "How is society possible?"; "The Metropolis and the mental Life")

Teaching methods

Frontal classes, seminars, students' presentations. Further bibliographical suggestions and analysis will be furnished in class.

Assessment methods

40% participation, presentations and debates

60% final speech on the contents

Teaching tools

Video Projector, e-books

Office hours

See the website of Davide Ruggieri


Good health and well-being Quality education Peace, justice and strong institutions

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.