INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH METHODS
Fall Term 1994
Claire Wallace
Department of Sociology
for the Department of European Studies
Central European University



Course Outline

The course is designed to introduce students to the main approaches to research, to explore the relationship between theory and data and to provide students with a range of techniques which they could use in their own work. These lectures are intended to be introductory. If you wish to pursue research methodologies in a more specialized way you will need to choose the options 'Advanced Statistics and Computing' or 'Qualitative Methodology' in the second trimester. The course is spread over 10 lectures, but some sessions will involve practical work as well as lectures. During the lecture course students will be guided in designing, administering and analyzing a questionnaire. For many seminars, readings have been provided which will be circulated in advance. Each student is expected to produce a two page paper each week on the relevant reading/s: the first part should be a short summary of the reading/s and the second part a critical commentary on the methods used. The readings suggested here are only indicative. Students are also expected to avail themselves of the material in the library under the research methodologies section.

1. Introduction to the course.
Different approaches to research: quantitative and qualitative methods

Reading:
*C. Wright Mills, "On Intellectual Craftsmanship" (circulated)
*Bell, J., Doing Your Own Research Project
*Hughes, J., 1990, The Philosophy of Social Research
Rose, J., 1990, The Philosophy of Social Research
Ackryod, S. and Hughes, J.A., 1983, Data Collection in Context
Bulmer, M., 1977, Sociological Research Methods
Bulmer, M., 1982, The Uses of Sociological Research
Bulmer, M., 1986, Social Science and Social Policy
Shipman, M., 1981, The Limitations of Social research
Bynner, J. and Stribley, K.M., eds., Social Research: Principles and Procedures
Bulmer, M., ed., Social Research Ethics
Bell, C. and Newby, H., 1977, Doing Sociological Research
Bell, C. and Roberts, H., 1984, Social Researching. Problems, Politics and Practice
Burgess, R.G., 1986, Exploring Society. Longmans
Burgess, R.G., 1989, Investigating Society. Longmans

In Seminar Groups:
Discuss examples of these different approaches using readings from Goode and Becker (circulated)
or discuss British Sociological Association Ethical Guidelines (circulated)

2. The Survey Method: Questionnaires
You will be asked to begin designing a questionnaire after this lecture which you will administer and analyze as part of the course

Reading:
*Hoinville, G., Jowell, R. and associates,1987, Survey Research Practice,especially chp. 3
Moser, C.A. and Kalton, G., 1979, Survey Methods in Social Investigation
Marsh, C., 1988, Exploring Data. An Introduction to Data Analysis for Social Scientists
Bryman, A. and Cramer, D., 1990, Quantitative Data Analysis for Social Scientists

In Seminar Groups:
Design questionnaire survey of students at the CEU. Each group will be responsible for a different section and these sections are as follows:
1. Basic data about the respondent
2. What the respondent did before coming to the CEU
3. What the respondent aims to do after leaving CEU
4. How the respondent found out about the course

3. The Survey Method: Sampling

Reading:
Bryman, A. and Cramer, D., 1990, Quantitative Data Analysis for Social Scientists
Marsh, C., 1988., Exploratory Data Analysis
*Hoinville, Jowell and associates, 1987, chp. 4

In Seminar Groups:
Finalise, code and prepare questionnaire for distribution

4. The Survey Method: Classification and Coding. Analysis of Surveys.
Reading:
Hoinville, Jowell and associates, 1987, chps. 8 and 9

In Seminar Groups:
Administer questionnare

5. Qualitative Methodology: what is it?
Reading:
Whyte, W., 1943, Street Corner Society
Burgess, R., 1982, Field Research: A Sourcebook and Fieldmanual
Hammersley, M. and Atkinson, P., 1983, Ethnography, Principles and Practice
Finch, J., 1986, Research Policy
Burgess, R., ed., 1984, In the Field. An Introduction to Field Research
Hammersley, M., 1989, The Dilemma of Qualitative Method
Atkinson, P., 1990, The Ethnographic Imagination
Stacey, J., 1990, Brave New Families
Goffman, E., 1968, Asylums

In Seminar Groups:
Read extract from Judith Stacey (circulated)

6. Data Gathering in Qualitative Research.
Interviews, Participant observation, Case Notes and Files.

In Seminar Groups:
Reda article by Marie Corbin (circulated)

7. Analysis of Qualitative Data.
Problems of interpretation, analyzing qualitative data, case studies, transcripts, reports.

Reading:
Plummer, K., 1983, Documents of Life
Bertaux, D., 1981, Biography and Society. The Life-History Approach in the Social Sciences

In Seminar Groups:
Discuss reading by Becker and Geer (circulated)

8. Secondary Data Analysis and Official Statistics.
Reading:
Scott, J., 1990, A Matter of Record
Purvis, J., Open University E205 Unit 5 (photocopy)
Hakim, C., 1982, Secondary Analysis in Social Research

In Seminar Groups:
Discuss reading on ethnic minorities from RFE/RL Research Bulletin (circulated)

9. Analysis of Questionnaire Research
Session - possibly with computers - to suggest ways of analyzing the data.

10. Comparative Research
Reading:
Rose, R. and Haerpfer, C., 1992, "New Democracies Between State and Market Studies" in Public Policy No. 204
Hakm, C., 1982, Secondary Analysis in Social Research
*Oyen, E., 1990, Comparative Methodology. Theory and Practice in International Social Research
Hantrais, L., ed., 1985, Doing Cross National Problem
Mangen, S., ed., 1986, Research Methods and Problems in Comparative Public Policy
Hantrais, L., ed., Language and Culture in Cross-National Research
*Mangen, S., 1987, Comparative Social Reseach: The East-West Dimension
Ragin, C.C., 1987, The Comparative Method. Moving Beyond Qualitative and Quantitative Strategies Berkeley, University of California Press (first five chapters, in particular pp. 34-85)
Tilly, C., 1984, Big Structures Large Processes, Huge Comparisons New York: Russel Sage Foundations

Seminar Groups:
Discuss reading on stratification from Peschar et. al. (circulated)
Those readings with * are particularly recommended

Assessment and Examination
The course is organised in such a way that there is a lecture for one hour once per week for 10 weeks. The students are divided into four seminar groups (about 11per seminar group) and these meet once per week with a programme of work. Each student must write a short essay every week comprising 2 pages based on the readings and topics set for that week. The first page is a summary of the article/s and the second page is an analytical criticism of them. This is intended to develop the students written and critical skills. These should be handed in several days before the seminar so that they can be discussed at the seminar and the marked copy handed back to the student. Students are often required to find supplementary articles themselves in order to encourage them to use the library.

There are three forms of examination of this course:
1. Students are required to hand in an individually written report of the survey which they carry out as a group. These must be handed in by December 1st.

2. Students will give a group presentation of their survey results.

3. Students may also be required to undertake an individual oral examination about their understanding of the topics covered in the course.



CRC-Curriculum Resource Center
CEU Budapest, Hungary
Modified: April, 1996

CWal_SocSciRes.F94IR.v1

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