Methods in Social Studies

The course’s aim is to introduce students to social science research methods in an understandable and practical way. We will rely on Earl Babbie’s classical handbook “The Practice of Social Research” and complement it with relevant research examples and hands-on exercises. Thus, the topics of the course will include:

  • Introduction to inquiry in the Social Sciences 
  • Research design
  • Elementary statistics: joint variable distributions and conditional distributions, as well as measures of central tendency; index, scales and typologies 
  • Generalizing one’s results (and the logic of sampling)
  • Elementary data visualisation 
  • Modes of Observation: Surveys, Experiments, Qualitative Field Research, Unobtrusive  and Evaluation, Case Studies, Action Research
  • The ideas behind analysis of qualitative and quantitative data (including social statistics and multivariate analyses) 
  • Ethics and Politics of Social Research
  • Reading Social Research (Sociology, Economics, Demography, Political Science)

After completing the course, students should be able to read a typical academic paper in the Social Sciences and have a basic understanding of the methods used, as well as be able to critically asses and discuss its contents and conclusions.