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LU0085

The Context and Process of Research I: Theories and Methods

This is a course in social theory, where on the one hand principal social theories are presented and discussed, and on the other, students are taught how to use and apply the theories on an empirical material, i.e. to theorize. The course also focuses on the interconnection between theory and methods. During the course the students will also start to work on their individual research problems. They are expected to formulate a research problem and learn how to select the theories and concepts to theorize about both the problem and the potential empirical material.
The course provides the students with a basic understanding of theoretical and methodological contexts and of the perspectives different theories, concepts and methods contribute to data collection and analysis. The main focus of the course is on qualitative methods, but the theoretical context of quantitative methods are also presented. The course presents the theoretical grounds of social analysis, the interaction between structure and agency, hermeneutics, phenomenology, gender analysis, Marxist social theory and social justice.
The course consists of lectures as well as individual and group exercises, discussed during seminars.
2020-07-03
Welcome to the course 'The Process of Research I: Theories and Methods
Dear all The course ’the Process of Research: Theories and methods I’ starts on Tuesday 1 September at 10.30-12.00. This session consists of an introduction. The first lecture is held the same day, 13.15- 15.00. Both these sessions will be held at SLU. The venue will be announced later. All lectures thereafter, except for the last one on 28 September, will be held on Zoom. A Zoom link used for all lectures and seminars will be uploaded on the course home on the student platform Canvas well in advance. The last lecture on 28 September will be held at SLU. Lectures will be held on Mondays and Tuesdays 10.15-12.00, and, at times 13.15 – 15.00. Discussion seminars will be held 10.15-12.00 and 13.15-15.00 on Thursdays. The class will be divided into discussion groups that either participate in the morning or the afternoon seminars. The discussion seminars on Thursday 10 September and 24 September will be held at SLU, to be able to get to know each other better and facilitate in-depth discussions. The only literature you are obliged to obtain is the course book by David Inglis, ‘An Invitation to Social Theory’. You find the schedule, the reading instructions, the information about the course literature, as well as information on discussion papers, discussion seminars and the exam in the document called ‘Reading Schedule, Theories and Methods’, uploaded on the student homepage. The grading criteria are also uploaded here. Please note that some literature might be added to the list and some may be changed or omitted. If you have any questions do not hesitate to write to us. Welcome! Örjan Bartholdson (orjan.bartholdson@slu.se) Kjell Hansen (kjell.hansen@slu.se)

The course evaluation is now closed

LU0085-10228 - Course evaluation report

Once the evaluation is closed, the course coordinator and student representative have 1 month to draft their comments. The comments will be published in the evaluation report.

Additional course evaluations for LU0085

Academic year 2019/2020

The Context and Process of Research I: Theories and Methods (LU0085-10073) 2019-09-02 - 2019-10-01

Academic year 2018/2019

The Context and Process of Research I: Theories and Methods (LU0085-10157) 2018-09-03 - 2018-10-03

Academic year 2017/2018

The Context and Process of Research I: Theories and Methods (LU0085-10049) 2017-08-28 - 2017-09-27

LU0085 The Context and Process of Research I: Theories and Methods, 7.5 Credits

Forskningsprocessens kontext och process I: teorier och metoder

Syllabus approved

2016-12-02

Subjects

Rural Development Environmental science

Education cycle

Second cycle

Advanced study in the main field

Second cycle, only first-cycle courses as entry requirements(A1N)

Grading scale

5:Pass with Distinction, 4:Pass with Credit, 3:Pass, U:Fail The requirements for attaining different grades are described in the course assessment criteria which are contained in a supplement to the course syllabus. Current information on assessment criteria shall be made available at the start of the course.

Language

English

Prior knowledge

Equivalent to 120 credits within social, natural sciences or the humanities, of which 90 credits within a particular major. Knowledge equivalent to English B from upper secondary school, English 550 or higher TOEFL or English 5,5 or higher IELTS.

Objectives

The aim of this course is to equip students with a basic scientific understanding of social science theory and its interconnection to the research process, so as to be able to undertake studies on rural development and environmental communication issues, as well as on social science issues at large.

Upon completion of the course, the student shall be able to:
- describe the main theoretical schools of social sciences, and how they are interconnected to questions of methodology and distinct research methods
- formulate research problems and objectives that are relevant to the study of rural development and environmental communication , as well as to social science at large
- delineate relevant methodological issues in relation to specific research problem
- express in written or oral form basic knowledge and dilemmas of methodological issues and distinct research methods, both qualitative and quantitative. This knowledge shall cover the theoretical and methodological preconditions and perspectives of the following areas: ethnographic methods, such as participant observation and different forms of interviews, action research, the context and background of statistical methods, and analysis of sources and discourses.
- distinguish between distinct levels and forms of scientific analysis and be able to account for their epistemological preconditions
- evaluate and discuss the role of science and ethical dilemmas in relation to the study of rural contexts and environmental communication, as well as social research at large

Content

The course comprises lectures, individual and group assignments, that are discussed and critiqued during seminars.

The course focuses on the interconnection between theory and methods. Furthermore, the course offers students a general introduction to the main theoretical framework of social sciences and qualitative and quantitative research methods. During the course the students will also start to work on their individual research projects; formulating a research problem and selecting adequate methods, in relation to the problem. The course offers a basic understanding of the theoretical and methodological contexts and perspectives of distinct methods for data collection and analysis, with a main focus on qualitative methods, but the context of quantitative methods are also outlined. The course offers the theoretical contexts for ethnographic methods, action research, the construction of questionnaires, the use of basic statistical methods, critical discourse analysis and interview techniques.

Formats and requirements for examination

For successful completion of the course the student must participate in compulsory sessions and give in a portfolio that comprise approved exam and assignments.
  • If the student fails a test, the examiner may give the student a supplementary assignment, provided this is possible and there is reason to do so.
  • If the student has been granted special educational support because of a disability, the examiner has the right to offer the student an adapted test, or provide an alternative assessment.
  • If changes are made to this course syllabus, or if the course is closed, SLU shall decide on transitional rules for examination of students admitted under this syllabus but who have not yet passed the course.
  • For the examination of a degree project (independent project), the examiner may also allow the student to add supplemental information after the deadline. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Other information

  • The right to take part in teaching and/or supervision only applies to the course date to which the student has been admitted and registered on.
  • If there are special reasons, the student may take part in course components that require compulsory attendance at a later date. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Responsible department

Department of Urban and Rural Development

Further information

Determined by: Programnämnden för utbildning inom naturresurser och jordbruk (PN - NJ)
Replaces: delvis LU0060, LU0078

Grading criteria for the course 'The Context and Process of Research I: Theories and Methods' of the Master's Programme; Rural Development and Natural Resource Management.
Course code LU0085.

The gradings of exams are based on the following criteria. Note that the final grade is based on the contexture of the totality of the text.

5

Be able to analyze and critically discuss the main content, arguments, concepts and assumptions of the scientific study of social organization, practices and construction of meaning

Be able to analyze, evaluate and critically discuss - using philosophy of science - the role of science related to social organization, practices and construction of meaning

Be able to account for and critically discuss the historic and political context of the major traditions of philosophy of science.

Be able to analyze and critically discuss the interconnection between theory, methodology and specific methods

Be able to critically account for a basic process of social theorizing in relation to a specific research project

Be able to demonstrate excellent understanding of the literature of the course.

Submit a home exam within the specified deadline

Submit individual discussion paper

Submit weekly group discussion papers

Participate actively in weekly discussion seminars

4

Be able to present a basic analysis of the main content, arguments, concepts and assumptions of the scientific study of social organization, practices and construction of meaning

Be able to present a basic analysis and critically discuss - using philosophy of science - the role of science related to rural development, natural resource management and environmental communication.

Be able to account for and critically discuss the historic and political context of the major traditions of philosophy of science.

Be able to critically discuss the interconnection between theory, methodology and specific methods

Be able to account for a basic process of social theorizing in relation to a specific research project

Be able to demonstrate substantial understanding of the literature of the course.

Submit a home exam within the specified deadline

Submit individual discussion paper

Submit weekly group discussion papers

Participate actively in weekly discussion seminars

3

Be able to describe the main content, arguments, concepts and assumptions of the scientific study of social organization, practices and construction of meaning
Be able to explain - using philosophy of science - the role of science related to social organization, practices and construction of meaning

Be able to give a basic account of the historic and political context of the major traditions of philosophy of science.

Be able to understand how social theorizing is conducted on a basic level

Be able to demonstrate adequate understanding of the literature of the course

Submit individual discussion paper

Submit weekly group discussion papers

Participate actively in weekly discussion seminars

Insufficient (U)

1) Literature
Comments: Please note that the literature list is found in the end of the Reading Schedule, located in the folder 'Time Table' (Schema).

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: Yes The course is offered as a programme course: EnvEuro - European Master in Environmental Science Environmental Communication and Management - Master´s Programme Rural Development and Natural Resource Management - Master´s Programme Agriculture Programme - Rural Development Agriculture Programme - Rural Development (270 hec) Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 13750 SEK Cycle: Second cycle
Subject: Rural Development Environmental science
Course code: LU0085 Application code: SLU-10228 Location: Uppsala Distance course: No Language: English Responsible department: Department of Urban and Rural Development Pace: 100%