METHODS AND TECHNIQUES
GRADO EN ESTUDIOS GLOBALES/GLOBAL STUDIES
1. Subject Information(Date last modified: 01-06-21 13:55)
- Second semester
- CIENCIA POLÍTICA Y DE LA ADMINISTRACIÓN
- Derecho Público General
- Virtual platform
- Rodrigo Rodrígues Silveira
- Derecho Público General
- Ciencia Política y de la Administración
- Fac. Derecho
- Office hours
- Under request by e-mail
- Web address
- http://campus.usal.es/~acpa/member/rodrigo-rodrigues-silveira/ http://www.acpa-usal.com/
- 923294500 Ext. 1617
2. Association of the subject matter within the study plan
Curricular area to which the subject matter pertains.
Formación Básica (Basic Training)
Purpose of the subject within the curricular area and study plan.
4. Learning objectives
The course “Methods and Techniques” aims at introducing students to the main subjects related to research. They will be informed about what means of performing research, what are the methods available in the social sciences, and the techniques employed to perform scientific work. The course also introduces many new concepts such as data analysis, inductive and deductive research, data collecting and validation, as well as serves as an introduction to some basic methods and techniques such as comparative and case analysis, or statistical and content analysis. During the course, students will perform practical sessions to assess their knowledge of the subjects discussed and practice with some real data and scenarios. At the end of the course, students will be capable of making a clear distinction between qualitative and quantitative methods, different types of data, and determining what is the best method(s) and technique(s) for a given research problem.
The following themes will be discussed during our lectures:
1. The big words: Research, Concepts, Methods, and Techniques
2. How to ask a question?
3. Ways of learning in science: inductive and deductive thinking
4. Description, Exploration, and Causation
5. Concepts as Paradigms
6. Methods as Strategies
7. Techniques as Tools
8. The fuel to it all: empirical evidence
9. Types of Data
10. Data collection and measurement validity
11. Methods in detail: the comparative method
12. Methods in detail: case study and process tracing
13. Techniques in detail: statistical analysis
14. Techniques in detail: content and discourse analysis
1. Selecting the best way of collect data for a research design
2. Recognizing different types of data
3. Examining the validity of measurements
4. Comparing apples to apples or apples to oranges
5. Selecting a research method for my research and defining the best technique to analyze my data
6. Competences acquired
Basic / General.
The course will promote the following skills:
- Understanding what data analysis is
- Developing basic analytical capacities
- Critical thinking about research
- Being able to locate and generate useful information for the analysis
The specific skills fostered are the following:
- The capacity to classify information and measurement types
- Ability to differentiate between quantitative and qualitative methods
- Ability to recognize the adequate method and technique for the analysis
- Basic training in the R statistical package
- Critical thought and data analysis
- Structured reading of scientific texts
- Autonomy in finding bibliographical resources
- Autonomy in performing research work
7. Teaching methods
Practical sessions at the TI lab and applied homework.
8. Anticipated distribution of the use of the different teaching methods
This is just a basic reading list. The complete bibliography will be posted on the webpage of the course at the beginning of the second semester:
Adcock, Robert, and David Collier. 2001. “Measurement Validity: A Shared Standard for Qualitative and Quantitative Research.” American Political Science Review 95 (3): 529–46.
Box-Steffensmeier, Janet M., Henry E. Brady, and David Collier, eds. 2010. The Oxford Handbook of Political Methodology. 1 edition. Oxford New York: Oxford University Press.
Carmines, Edward G., and Richard A. Zeller. 1979. Reliability and Validity Assessment. Vol. 17. Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences. London: Sage Publications.
Coppedge, Michael. 2012. Democratization and Research Methods. Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press.
Few, Stephen. 2012. Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten. Second edition. Burlingame, Calif: Analytics Press.
Few, Stephen. 2015. Signal: Understanding What Matters in a World of Noise. Burlingame, California: Analytics Press.
George, Alexander L., and Andrew Bennett. 2007. Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Gerring, John. 1999. “What Makes a Concept Good? A Criterial Framework for Understanding Concept Formation in the Social Sciences.” Polity 31 (3): 357–93.
Gerring, John. 2007. Case Study Research: Principles and Practices. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Gerring, John. 2012. Social Science Methodology: A Unified Framework. 2 edition. Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press.
Goertz, Gary, and James Mahoney. 2012. A Tale of Two Cultures: Qualitative and Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press.
Goertz, Gary. 2006. Social Science Concepts: A User’s Guide. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Kabacoff, Robert. 2015. R in Action: Data Analysis and Graphics with R. Second edition. Shelter Island: Manning Publications.
King, Gary, and Sidney Verba. 1994. Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Levine, David, and David Stephan. 2009. Even You Can Learn Statistics: A Guide for Everyone Who Has Ever Been Afraid of Statistics. 2 edition. Upper Saddle River, N.J: FT Press.
Lupi, Giorgia, Stefanie Posavec, and Maria Popova. 2016. Dear Data. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.
Nisbet, Robert, and Paul Edward Gottfried. 2001. Sociology as an Art Form. 0002–Revised edition ed. New Brunswick, N.J: Transaction Publishers.
Ragin, Charles C. 2014. The Comparative Method: Moving Beyond Qualitative and Quantitative Strategies. First Edition, With a New Introduction edition. Oakland: University of California Press.
The evaluation aims at verifying the advancements of students during the entire semester.
Reading and comprehension of basic concepts and paradigms on research methods and techniques.
Continuous evaluation through individual assignments performed during the entire semester.
Critical thinking and the capacity to apply the acquired knowledge to practical situations and cases.
The evaluation will be as following:
Three Individual assignments performed during the semester and delivered through Studium.
Read all texts and attend classes.
Guidelines in the case of failing the subject.
All content will be evaluated in the second exam. The qualifications of previous exercises, such as the reading reports or bibliographic essays, will not be considered in this phase.