BASIC CONCEPTS AND TECHNIQUES OF SOCIAL RESEARCH. APPLICATION OF THE MAIN TECHNIQUES OF SOCIAL RESEARCH

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Code
65026
ACADEMIC YEAR
2021/2022
CREDITS
6 credits during the 1st year of 8710 Social Work (L-39) GENOVA
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR
SPS/07
LANGUAGE
Italian
TEACHING LOCATION
GENOVA (Social Work)
semester
1° Semester
sectioning
This unit is divided into 2 sections:
modules
Teaching materials

OVERVIEW

To describe the main types of social research, its phases and most widely used tools, permitting students to be involved in field research, to build tools (questionnaires, individual and group face to face interviews), to perform elementary data analysis

 

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Research strategies and different approaches. Research design and fundamentals of social research. Operative definitions of concepts, typesof variables and their relationships. Scaling techniques. Analysis methods, with regards to their specific use in social sciences. Data analysis. Sampling procedures, surveys and questionnaires. Individual and group interview techniques. Etnographic approach.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

The course aims to train students in the strategies, techniques and tools of social research, providing them with basic knowledge relating to the problems, concepts, practices characterizing the methodology of social sciences.

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • know the main schools of thought and reference authors of social research;
  • correctly use key concepts of the methodology of social research;
  • understand the technical terminology and tools for the design and implementation of a path of social research;
  • apply the main methods of data collection and analysis, with reference to quantitative and qualitative methods and techniques.

TEACHING METHODS

The course consists of lectures for a total of 36 hours (equivalent to 6 CFU), during which theoretical arguments will be presented, exemplifications will be carried, and collective discussions on the topics presented will be strongly encouraged. It is foreseen the possibility of eventual participation in thematic seminars on the topics dealt with. On Aulaweb the slides and in-depth materials relating to the lessons will be available.

If required by the epidemiological situation, the course will be held in distance learning mode, according to the specifications that will be published in good time in the classroom web page of the course.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

The course aims to present the fundamental concepts and logic that characterize social research, with particular reference to the design and implementation of an investigation path, the nature of data, its construction, analysis and interpretation. At the didactic level, the course is aimed at providing students with basic literacy in the logic of research, in its various phases and in relation to the main methods of data collection and analysis. Quantitative and qualitative methods and techniques are examined, individually and in a comparative perspective, as well as their use in carrying out sample surveys. Particular attention is paid to the construction and use of the questionnaire as a data collection tool, to the techniques for detecting attitudes and to the use of statistical sampling in social research. Part of the course is dedicated to the illustration and acquisition of the methodological knowledge necessary to analyze and interpret textual data, with specific reference to the methods of archiving, management and computer-assisted analysis of textual corpora. At the same time, the course aims to prepare students for the planning, administration and analysis of the qualitative tools of social research, both through the different interview techniques and through ethnomethodological techniques. To this end, the course combines face-to-face lectures with the participation and involvement of students in field research activities to gain practical experience in conducting the various investigation phases, in setting up research strategies and in the creation and administration of social research.

 

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

Both for the non-attending students, both for attending students:

Palumbo M., Garbarino E. (2006). Ricerca sociale: metodo e tecniche. Milano: FrancoAngeli.

Pandolfini V. (2017). Il sociologo e l’algoritmo. L’analisi dei dati testuali al tempo di Internet. Milano: FrancoAngeli.

 

Slides and other material made available by the lecturer on Aulaweb.

Students with DSA, disability or other special educational needs are recommended to contact the teacher at the beginning of the course, in order to organize teaching and assessment, taking in account both the class aims and the student's needs and providing suitable compensatory instruments.

For international students, texts and articles in English are available on request. For international students who request it, it will be possible to take the examination orally in English.

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Office hours: By appointment via e-mail (valeria.pandolfini@unige.it) at DISFOR, Corso Podestà, 2, 3rd floor, room 3A5 or on the Teams platform.

Exam Board

CLAUDIO TORRIGIANI (President)

SEBASTIANO BENASSO

VALERIA SILVIA PANDOLFINI (President Substitute)

STEFANO POLI (Substitute)

LESSONS

TEACHING METHODS

The course consists of lectures for a total of 36 hours (equivalent to 6 CFU), during which theoretical arguments will be presented, exemplifications will be carried, and collective discussions on the topics presented will be strongly encouraged. It is foreseen the possibility of eventual participation in thematic seminars on the topics dealt with. On Aulaweb the slides and in-depth materials relating to the lessons will be available.

If required by the epidemiological situation, the course will be held in distance learning mode, according to the specifications that will be published in good time in the classroom web page of the course.

LESSONS START

I semester.
 

Class schedule

All class schedules are posted on the EasyAcademy portal.

EXAMS

EXAM DESCRIPTION

For the non-attending students the exam is written (5 open-ended questions, 4 on the manual and 1 on the other book). The student who has passed the written exam, once informed of the mark, will decide whether to accept it, integrate it with a question about a specific thematic area, which will be asked in oral mode in the next call, or reject the mark and present itself in subsequent session.

For each open-ended question, the range is 0-6 points. The available time will be 90 minutes (total marks from 0 to 30).

For the attending students (i.e. those who have attended at least 70% of the total hours of lessons), it is possible to use the mode envisaged for the non-attending students, or to carry out intermediate written tests, which will take place during the course. Two intermediate tests are foreseen, each of which will gave 15 points. Each intermediate test will compose of 5 open-ended questions. For each open-ended answer, the range is 0-3 points. The final mark will consist in the sum of the two marks. Students who fails or does not accept the mark of one of the two tests will be able to complete the exam orally. For the students aiming to improve the mark of the interim tests, a short oral examination is foreseen on a part of the program defined according to the results of the intermediate tests to the next section, for the registration of the mark .If required by the epidemiological situation, the exam will be held in distance mode.

 

If required by the epidemiological situation, the exam will be in oral modality on the online Teams Platform.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

The written exam is structured in 5 open-ended questions (4 on the manual and 1 on the other book). The student who has passed the written exam, once informed of the mark, will decide whether to accept it, integrate it with a question about a specific thematic area, which will be asked in oral mode in the next call, or reject the mark and present itself in subsequent session.

For each open-ended question, the range is 0-6 points. The available time will be 90 minutes (total marks from 0 to 30).

For the attending students (i.e. those who have attended at least 70% of the total hours of lessons), it is possible to use the mode envisaged for the non-attending students, or to carry out intermediate written tests, which will take place during the course. Two intermediate tests are foreseen, each of which will gave 15 points. Each intermediate test will compose of 5 open-ended questions. For each open-ended answer, the range is 0-3 points. The final mark will consist in the sum of the two marks. Students who fails or does not accept the mark of one of the two tests will be able to complete the exam orally. For the students aiming to improve the mark of the interim tests, a short oral examination is foreseen on a part of the program defined according to the results of the intermediate tests to the next section, for the registration of the mark .If required by the epidemiological situation, the exam will be held in distance mode.

 

The written exam aims to verify the students’ actual knowledge and acquisition of the concepts and theoretical notions covered in the course, the ability to make connections between these theories and the key concepts of the discipline, the capacity to apply the main methods and tools for data collection and analysis, the ability to master the technical terminology.

If required by the epidemiological situation, the exam will be in oral modality on the online Teams Platform.

The oral examination aims to verify the students' actual knowledge and acquisition of the concepts and theoretical notions covered in the course, as well as their ability to apply the notions to specific contexts, to demonstrate critical thinking about the main schools of thought and reference authors of social research, the capacity to apply the main methods and tools for data collection and analysis. Competence in the specific use of technical terminology used to analyze the studied phenomena will constitute a preferential evaluation criterion.

Exam schedule

Date Time Location Type Notes
14/12/2021 09:30 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
18/01/2022 09:30 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
09/02/2022 09:30 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
10/05/2022 09:30 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
01/06/2022 09:30 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
23/06/2022 09:30 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
12/07/2022 09:30 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
06/09/2022 09:30 GENOVA Scritto + Orale

FURTHER INFORMATION

All students are invited to periodically consult the page of this course on the AulaWeb e-learning portal (accessible from the University site or at: http://www.aulaweb.unige.it/). All information and materials related to this course are provided exclusively on that site.