At the end of the course, the student has built up elementary expertise in:|
Using sociological theories for generating tentative answers to explanatory problems;
Providing reconstructions of theoretical sketches in the form of explanatory theories and models;
Deriving testable hypotheses from explanatory theories;
Using explanatory theories and results of empirical research for developing policy recommendations;
Critically comparing and evaluating sociological theories.
This is an intermediate undergraduate level course on theory formation and model building in sociology. Thus the course focuses on the `Theory' , in the `Problems-Theory-Empirical research-Policy implications'-sequence that characterizes the various steps in analytical social science. The focus is on the common `logic' underlying different, sometimes competing but also often complementary sociological approaches. Likewise, the course focuses on common as well as complementary features of theory formation and model building in sociology and other social science disciplines.
We discuss the core steps involved in theory formation and model building: the formulation of problems (societal problems as well as sociological problems), (re)construction of theories, derivation of testable hypotheses from general theories, and generating policy recommendations using sociological theories as well as results of empirical research. A focus on carefully designed arguments is a characteristic feature of the course: what assumptions do we need in order to derive certain implications? What implications follow from a certain set of assumptions? This includes making assumptions explicit which often remain implicit in theoretical reasoning.
Another feature of the course is that we carefully reconstruct the links between propositions on the micro-level of individual behavior and propositions on the macro-level of social phenomena and processes. The course stresses the relations between theory formation and empirical research as well as the role of theory and empirical research in the design of policy recommendations.
The course proceeds from examples of sociological analyses. Each example is related to one of the main problems of sociology as a discipline: problems of order and cooperation (sometimes referred to as the problem of cohesion), problems of social inequality, and problems of social change.
NB: the course is taught in English.
Concise formulation of different types of problems (such descriptive problems, explanatory problems, policy implementation problems)
Analyzing societal problems using social science theory and results of empirical research
Reconstructing explanatory theories
Deriving testable hypotheses
Deriving conclusions based on results of empirical research
The course builds upon the earlier BA1-course 'Problems and Theories of the Sociology (Hoofdvragen en theorieën van de sociologie; 200300007)'. Expertise on the level of this BA-1 course or an equivalent introduction to sociological theory is required
Sound knowledge of the English language.
Knowledge can be gained
Students who did not follow 'Problems and Theories of the Sociology; 200300007' are expected to have knowledge of sociological theory on the level of a textbook such as: - Ultee, W.C., W. Arts & H.D. Flap (2003) Sociologie - Vragen, Uitspraken, Bevindingen, 3 ed. Groningen: Martinus Nijhoff. - Meulemann, H. (2001) Soziologie von Anfang an. Eine Einfuhrung in Themen, Ergebnisse und Literatur, Wiesbaden: Westdeutscher. - Macionis (2008) Sociology, 12e ed. New York, NY Pearson Prentice Hall.
Voorkennis kan worden opgedaan met
|The course builds upon the earlier BA1-course ' Introduction to Sociology (Inleiding Sociologie; 200300007)'. Expertise on the level of this BA-1 course or an equivalent introduction to sociological theory is required. |
Sound knowledge of the English language.
|Students who did not follow 'Introduction to Sociology; 200300007' are expected to have knowledge of sociological theory at textbook-level such as:|
- Ultee, W.C., W. Arts & H.D. Flap (2003) Sociologie - Vragen, Uitspraken, Bevindingen, 3 ed. Groningen: Martinus Nijhoff.
- Meulemann, H. (2001) Soziologie von Anfang an. Eine Einfuhrung in Themen, Ergebnisse und Literatur, Wiesbaden: Westdeutscher.
- Macionis (2008) Sociology, 12e ed. New York, NY Pearson Prentice Hall.
|BoekSelections from: Hedström, P. (2005). Dissecting the Social. On the Principles of Analytical Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.|
|SyllabusSyllabus with detailed information on the course, including a list of the required and optional readings, reading guides, questions for self-study, slides used during the lectures, and newspaper clippings.|
|Instructie college (Verplicht)|