The Context and Process of Research I: Theories and Methods
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.
Additional course evaluations for LU0085
Academic year 2022/2023
The Context and Process of Research I: Theories and Methods (LU0085-10103)
2022-08-29 - 2022-09-28
Academic year 2021/2022
The Context and Process of Research I: Theories and Methods (LU0085-10254)
2021-08-30 - 2021-09-29
Academic year 2020/2021
The Context and Process of Research I: Theories and Methods (LU0085-10228)
2020-08-31 - 2020-09-29
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
Syllabus and other information
LU0085 The Context and Process of Research I: Theories and Methods, 7.5 CreditsForskningsprocessens kontext och process I: teorier och metoder
SubjectsEnvironmental Science Rural Development
Education cycleMaster’s level
Advanced study in the main fieldSecond cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirementsMaster’s level (A1N)
Prior knowledgeEquivalent 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.
ObjectivesThe 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
ContentThe 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 examinationFor successful completion of the course the student must participate in compulsory sessions and give in a portfolio that comprise approved exam and assignments. If a 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 a student has been granted targeted study support because of a disability, the examiner has the right to offer the student an adapted test, or provide an alternative form of assessment.
If this course is discontinued, SLU will decide on transitional provisions for the examination of students admitted under this syllabus who have not yet been awarded a Pass grade.
For the assessment an independent project (degree project), the examiner may also allow a student to add supplemental information after the deadline for submission. For more information, please refer to the Education Planning and Administration Handbook.
- 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 informationThe right to take part in teaching and/or supervision only applies to the course instance which the student has been admitted to 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, please refer to the Education Planning and Administration Handbook.
Department of Urban and Rural Development
You will only have to purchase the books marked with a *, that is, the first book mentioned on the list below.
Please note that some papers might be added to the list, and some may be changed or omitted before the course starts.
*Inglis, David. 2012. An Invitation to Social Theory. Cambridge. Polity Press.
Excerpts of Books:
Bourdieu, Pierre; Wacquant, Lois. 1992. An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology. Pages: 94-135, 167-173. Cambridge. University of Chicago.
Bratton, John, Denham, David. 2014. Emile Durkheim: The rules of sociological method and on Suicide. The division of labour in society. Capitalism and classical social theory. University of Toronto Press. Pages 183-204
Eriksen, Thomas Hylland. Small Places, Large Issues. An Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology. Pluto Press. Pages 30
Geertz, Clifford. 1973. Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight. The Interpretation of Culture. New York. Basic Books. Pages 412-454.
Giddens, Anthony. 1986. Agency, Structure. Central Problems in Social Theory.Action, Structure and Contradiction in Social Analysis. Hong Kong. MacMillan. Pages 49-73.
Gramsci, A. 2000. Hegemony, Relations of Force, Historical Bloc. In: The Gramsci Reader. Selected Writings 1916-1935, edited by Forgacs, David. Pages: 189-221
Hacking, Ian. 2000. Why Ask What? The Social Construction of What? Cambridge. Harvard University Press. Pages 1-35.
Jackson, Michael. Introduction. In* Things as They Are. New directions in phenomenological anthropology*. Indiana University Press.
Jackson, Michael. 2013. Chapter 3: Knowledge of the body. Lifeworlds. Essays in existential anthropology. Chicago. The University of Chicago Press.
Kaidesoja, T. J. (2019). Building middle-range theories from case studies. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.
Laclau, E., andMouffe, C. 1985. Beyond the Positivity of the Social: Antagonisms and Hegemony. In: Hegemony and socialist strategy: Towards a radical democratic politics. Verso. Pages 93-148
Marx, Karl. 1973. Grundrisse. Pages 100-108 (the method of political economy)
Marx, Karl. 1990. Capital, Volume I. Pages 873-940 (Part 8, So-called primitive accumulation)
Meiksins Wood, Ellen. 2012.The Ellen Meiksins Wood Reader, edited by Larry Patriquin. Brill. Pages 18-61
Ong, Aihwa. 1983. “Global industries and Malay peasants in peninsular Malaysia.” In Women, men, and the international division of labor* *(ed. June Nash and Maria Fernandez-Kelley). 426–39. Albany: SUNY Press.
Rehmann, J. (2013). Theories of ideology: The powers of alienation and subjection. Brill. Pages 21-60
Robert K. Merton. 1949. Social Theory and Social Structure*. *The FreePress. Pages 39-53
Parsons, Keith. 2014. It started with Copernicus. Vital Questions about Science. New York. Prometheus Books.
Sharrock, Wes & Button, Graham 1991: The social actor: social action in real time. In: Button, Graham (ed.): Ethnomethodology and the human sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (p 137 - 171)
Scheper-Hughes, Nancy. 1992. Death Without Weeping. The violence of everyday life in Brazil. University of California Press. Part of chapter 1, chapter 3. Pages 31-36, 49-64, 98-127
Scott, James. 1985. Hegemony and Consciousness (Chapter 8) in The Weapons of the Weak. Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance.
Swartz, David L. Chapter 2 and Chapter 3. Symbolic Power, Politics and Intellectuals. The political sociology of Pierre Bourdieu. Chicago. The Chicago University Press. Pages 30-78
Tilly, Charles. 1991. Domination, resistance, compliance…discourse. Sociological Forum. Vol. 6 (3): 593-602
Turner, Jonathan H.. 2012. Theoretical Principles of Sociology, Volume 3, Mesodynamics. Springer. Pages 1-28 (Chapter 1)
Weber, Max. 1978. Economy and society: An outline of interpretive sociology. Vol. 1. University of California press. Pages 3-62 (Chapter 1), 302-307 (chapter 4)
Wolf, Eric. 1982. Modes of Production. The Fur Trade. In Europe and the People Without History. Berkely. University of California Press. Pages 73-100, 158-194
Bartholdson, Örjan, Abdallah, Jummane, Marquardt, Kristina, Salomonsson, Lennart. 2019. Is REDD+ More of an Institutional Affair than a Market Process? The Concealed Social and Cultural Consequences of an Ongoing REDD+ Project in Kolo Hills, Tanzania. In Forests. Vol. 10(618): 1-18
Collier, S. J. (2020). Global anthropology and the art of the middle range. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, 10(3), 1052-1054.
Ekers, M., Loftus, A., & Mann, G. 2009. Gramsci lives!. Geoforum, 40(3), 287-291.
Esping-Andersen, (1989) “The three political economies of the welfare state”. Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, 26(1), 1989
Fraser, N (1995) Recognition or redistribution? A critical reading of Iris Young’s justice and the policitics of difference. The Journal of Political Philosophy 3 (2) pp 166-180
Graeber, David. 2006. Beyond Power/Knowledge- an exploration of the relation of power, ignorance and stupidity. The Malinowski Memorial Lecture, 2006. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory. Pages 105 – 128
Imenda, S. (2014). Is there a conceptual difference between theoretical and conceptual frameworks?. Journal of social sciences, 38(2), 185-195.
Hughes, S., Davis, T. E., & Imenda, S. N. (2019). Demystifying theoretical and conceptual frameworks: A guide for students and advisors of educational research. J Soc Sci, 58(1-3), 24-35.
Martínez, Maria, Laura. 2009. Ian Hacking’s Proposal for the Distinction between Natural and Social Sciences. In Philosophy of the Social Sciences. Vol. 39: 212-234
Meyfroidt, Patrick, R. Roy Chowdhury, Ariane de Bremond, Erle C. Ellis, K-H. Erb, Tatiana Filatova, R. D. Garrett et al. "Middle-range theories of land system change." Global environmental change 53 (2018): 52-67.
Swedberg, Rickard. 2012. Theorizing in sociology and social science: turning to the context of discovery. In Theory and Society. Vol. 41: 1-40.