The main goal is to prepare the students, and provide them with basic skills, to undertake rudimentary research and inquiry in the field of social sciences The course focuses on teaching the students the meaning and relevance of theory for inquiry and research in the social sciences. Al aspects of the research process are covered such as:
4. Research design and hypothesis-testing
Particular emphasis is put on the art of theorizing ¿ the technique of theory construction ¿ with an aim to explain social and societal phenomena. The course will provide the students a first contact with how to use theory data and methods in a coherent way to enable a systematic study of a social or societal phenomenon. The course will show how questions through theorising can be turned into theory. Theories motivate hypotheses which in turn can be contrasted by means of collection of empirical evidence and data. We will assess the feedbacks between empirical evidence and theories. We aim to show how new or better evidence shape theories, and how theories also discipline the enquiry into the social world by affecting measurement instruments, or by focusing the attention on specific types of evidence. We will discuss what measurement means, what guides measurement, and the problems of various sorts of evidence and the alternative research designs involved (experimental, comparative historical, statistical), We will then elaborate on how evidence informs the generation development of theory and hypotheses with a view to make causal claims that can aid policy making and policy strategies at all levels of society.