The Context and Process of Research II: Theories and Methods
The course provides the students with a deepened 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 discourse and world system theory analyses, social analyses of bureaucracies and governmentality, actor-network-theory (ANT), structuralism and poststructuralism, critical theory and gender theory.
The course consists of lectures as well as individual and group exercises, discussed during seminars.
The course evaluation is now closed
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 LU0090
Academic year 2022/2023
2022-09-29 - 2022-10-31
Academic year 2021/2022
2021-09-30 - 2021-11-01
Academic year 2020/2021
2020-09-30 - 2020-11-01
Academic year 2019/2020
2019-10-02 - 2019-10-31
Academic year 2018/2019
2018-10-01 - 2018-11-11
Academic year 2017/2018
2017-09-25 - 2017-11-05
Syllabus and other information
LU0090 The Context and Process of Research II: Theories and Methods, 7.5 CreditsForskningsprocessens kontext och process II: teorier och metoder
SubjectsRural Development Environmental Science
Education cycleMaster’s level
Advanced study in the main fieldSecond cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
Master’s level (A1N)
The grade requirements within the course grading system are set out in specific criteria. These criteria must be available by the course start at the latest.
Prior knowledgeEquivalent to 120 credits within social, natural sciences or the humanities, of which 90 credits within a particular major. Basic scientific understanding of social science theory and its interconnection to the research process.
Knowledge equivalent to English B from upper secondary school, English 550 or higher TOEFL or English 5,5 or higher IELTS.
The aim of this course is to equip students with a deepened understanding of the theoretical and methodological context of the social sciences research process, in order to undertake studies on rural development and environmental communication issues, as well as on social science issues at large. The focus is both on knowledge of social science theory and on its practical use; both in the students’ own research and in their analysis of others’ scientific research.
Upon completion of the course, the student shall be able to:
understand and analyze the rationale of the main schools of social science theory and account for their interconnection with distinct research methods
understand and draw on relevant social science theories in the design of the research project and selection of interlinked research methods
identify, discuss and analyze relevant methodological issues in relation to a specific research problem and decide which research methods that ought to be used, in order to answer the questions that the problem poses
assess scientific texts so as to identify and critically analyze the explicit and/or implicit theories, which permeates the selection and application of research methods, including participant observation and different forms of interviews, action research, the construction of questionnaires, the use of basic statistical methods, and analysis of sources and discourses
demonstrate in written and oral form thorough knowledge of the use of different research methods so as to establish relevant empirical material in relation to the analysis of specific research questions
evaluate and reflect on strengths and weaknesses of different research methods and the researcher’s own position within the research
make assessments of ethical dilemmas and actual practices in concrete research projects and methods, within the disciplines of rural development and environmental communication, as well as social research at large.
The course comprises lectures, individual and group assignments, that are discussed and critiqued during seminars.
This course constitutes a continuation of the course ‘The Context and Process of Research I: Theories and Methods. The intention of the course is to enable the students to design research projects and select relevant research methods, in full awareness of their theoretical methodological preconditions and implications.
The course offers students a deepened knowledge of the theoretical framework of social sciences and qualitative and quantitative research methods. During the course the students will continue to work on their individual research projects; formulating and refining a research problem, selecting and analyzing adequate methods, in relation to the problem, while describing and analyzing their theoretical methodological preconditions and implications in both written and oral form. Furthermore, the course also offers a deepened understanding of the contexts and perspectives of distinct methods for data collection and analysis, with a main focus on qualitative methods, as well as the ethical dilemmas of research.
Grading formThe grade requirements within the course grading system are set out in specific criteria. These criteria must be available by the course start at the latest.
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.
The final exam which also determines the grade of the course consists of a home exam
If a student has failed an examination, the examiner has the right to issue supplementary assignments. This applies if it is possible and there are grounds to do so.
The examiner can provide an adapted assessment to students entitled to study support for students with disabilities following a decision by the university. Examiners may also issue an adapted examination or provide an alternative way for the students to take the exam.
If this syllabus is withdrawn, SLU may introduce transitional provisions for examining students admitted based on this syllabus and who have not yet passed the course.
For the assessment of an independent project (degree project), the examiner may also allow a student to add supplemental information after the deadline for submission. Read more in the Education Planning and Administration Handbook.
The right to participate in teaching and/or supervision only applies for the course instance the student was admitted to and registered on.
If there are special reasons, students are entitled to participate in components with compulsory attendance when the course is given again. Read more in the Education Planning and Administration Handbook.
Additional informationThe admission requirement of basic scientific understanding of social science theory and its interconnection to the research process can be fulfilled by the course ‘The Context and Process of Research I: Theories and Methods’, 7,5 credits.
Department of Urban and Rural Development
The Process of Research II: Theories and Methods**:
Schedule and reading instructions**
**Cristian Alarcón Ferrari
You will only have to purchase the books marked with a *, that is, the first book mentioned on the list below.
Note that a couple of more texts will be added to the list soon.
*Inglis, David. 2012. An Invitation to Social Theory. Cambridge. Polity Press.
Excerpts of Books:
Barker, Philip. 1998. Michel Foucault. An introduction. Chapter 1: Body and text. Chapter 2: Power, truth and strategy. Edinburgh. Edinburgh University Press. Pages 1-47
Bourdieu, Pierre. 1987. Outline of a Theory of Practice. Cambridge University Press. Page: 22-30, 87-95.
Callon, Michel 1986: Some elements of a sociology of translation: domestication of the scallops and the fishermen of St Brieuc Bay In: Law, John (ed.): Power, action and belief: a new sociology of knowledge? London, Routledge, 1986, pp.196- 223.
Clifford, James. 1986. Introduction. Partial Truths. In *Writing Culture. The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography *(ed. Clifford, James.; Marcus, George, E. 1986). University of California Press. Pages 1-26
Dean, Mitchell 2009: Governmentality. Power and Rule in Modern Society. Basic concepts and themes. London: Sage. Pages 16-51.
Eriksen, Thomas Hylland. Small Places, Large Issues. An Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology. Pluto Press.
Fairclough, Norman 2001: Language and Power. Chapters: 2, 3, 4, 10. Harlow: Longman
Federici, Silvia. 2004. Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation. New York. Autonomedia. Pages to read will be announced later.
Foucault, Michel 1991: Governmentality. In: Burchell, G.; Gordon, C; Miller P. (eds.): *The Foucault Effect. Studies in Governmentality. *Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf.
Foucault, Michel. 2000. Essential works of Foucault 1954-1984. Power. Vol. 3. Truth and Power. London. Penguin Books. 111-134.
Habermas, Jürgen 1989: VI. Intermediate Reflections: System and Lifeworld. In: The Theory of Communicative Action. Volume 2. Lifeworld and system: a critique of functionalist reason. Boston: Beacon Press (pp 113 - 197)
Hacking, Ian. 2004. The Archeology of Michel Foucault. Historical Ontology? Cambridge. Harvard University Press. Pages 73-86
Latour, Bruno 2005: Reassembling the Social. An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Introduction + Part 1 (=156 pp)
Moore, Henrietta. 1994. Kinship, labour and household: Understanding Women’s work. Feminism and Anthropology. Page 42-73
Ortner, Sherry. 2005. Making Gender; Is Female to Male as Nature is to Culture? Making Gender. The Politics and Erotics of Culture. Boston. Beacon Press. Pages 1-42
Outhwaite, William. 2009. The Colonization of the Lifeworld. Habermas. Cambridge. Polity Press. Pages 80-105.
Richardson, John E. 2007. A**nalysing Newspapers: An Approach from Critical Discourse Analysis. Chapters 1 and 2. Basingstoke [etc.]: Palgrave Macmillan.
Delantey, Gerard. 2011. Varieties of critique in sociological theory and their methodological implications for social research. Irish Journal f Sociology. Vol. 19(1): 68–92
Lovell, Terry. 2003. Resisting with Authority: Historical Specificity, Agency and the Performative Self. In Theory, Culture & Society. Vol. 20(1): 1-17
Murray Li, Tania. 2007. Practices of assemblage and community forest management. In Economy and Society. Vol 36(2): 263-293