This course is a learning project on Values and Civil Society in Europe. Students get acquainted with and learn to do sociological research.|
At the end of the course, pairs/trios of students should be able to write a complete scientific empirical research paper about a value or civil society issue in contemporary Europe, using survey data.
For that purpose, each student explores and reviews at least five relevant scientific articles and writes a literature review.
Students should be able to identify a scientific and societal relevant research problem, to formulate research questions addressing that problem, and to apply adequately appropriate statistical analyses with available survey data to answer the research questions.
They should be able to evaluate existing sociological theories to decide about the usefulness and possibilities to apply these theories to the research questions formulated and they should be able to extract testable hypotheses from these theories or formulate a clear and specific why-question and speculations about possible mechanisms.
Students should be able to apply the basic knowledge of statistical analyses and analytical skills, which they have learnt in the course taken earlier on Statistics and Methodology. In a number of lab sessions, several statistical methods are further explained and in assignments practiced so that students should be able to empirically test the formulated hypotheses using survey data from international survey research projects such as e.g., the European Values Study, International Social Survey Programme, Election Studies, European Social Survey, Eurobarometer, and other (international) data sources.
Students should be able to describe the results of the statistical analyses and interpret the results concisely and correct, evaluate the results of the analyses and assess whether or not the research problem is properly answered. They should be able to draw conclusions, critically discuss the results, and formulate suggestions for future studies.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS COURSE IS FOR LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES STUDENTS IN THE MAJOR SOCIAL SCIENCES ONLY!
This course is taught through co-teaching, which entails that more than a single professor is responsible for teaching the course and guiding the students that take it.
Prior knowledge of what is taught in the courses on Statistics and Methodology in the first semester is required.
This course aims at introducing students to the empirical study of values and civil society in contemporary European societies. The course consists of three stages.|
The first stage is an orientation stage consisting of lectures and reading the literature. Students are introduced to some sociological theories and themes concerning European society and societal changes, and they become acquainted with international comparative studies and with the writing of a literature review. At the end of stage one, students write a literature review of at least five studies, being scientific journal articles or book chapters, on the topic of their own choice.
In the second part of this semester course, students practice sociological research in labs and a number of individual assignments, and they explore literature for their own (groups) research paper.
In the third part, pairs/trios of students write an empirical paper about a certain value or civil society issue. The papers are presented and peer reviewed in a plenary session at the end of the course.
The final grade is the weighted average of the grade of the individually written literature review (40%), the lab assignments (20%), and the group paper (40%). To pass the course, all grades must be 5.5 or higher.
- Literature will be announced at the start of the course.