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Course module: 200300009
200300009
Models for the analyses of social Interaction
Course infoSchedule
Course code200300009
ECTS Credits7.5
Category / Level2 (Bachelor Elaborating)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byFaculty of Social Sciences; Undergraduate School Sociale Wetenschappen; Sociologie;
Contact personSecretariaat Sociologie
Telephone030-2532101
E-mailsociologie.fss@uu.nl
Lecturers
Lecturer
prof. dr. ir. V.W. Buskens
Other courses by this lecturer
Lecturer
dr. R. Corten
Feedback and availability
Other courses by this lecturer
Teaching period
1  (31/08/2015 to 06/11/2015)
Teaching period in which the course begins
1
Time slotB: TUE-morning, THU-afternoon
Study mode
Full-time
Enrolment periodfrom 01/06/2015 up to and including 28/06/2015
Enrolling through OSIRISYes
Enrolment open to students taking subsidiary coursesYes
Pre-enrolmentNo
Post-registrationYes
Post-registration openfrom 17/08/2015 up to and including 18/08/2015
Waiting listNo
Course placement processniet van toepassing
Course goals
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.
Content
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.

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. For this purpose, we introduce students to theoretical tools such as game theory and agent-based modeling. The course proceeds from examples of sociological analyses,  each related to one of the main themes 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.

This course aims to contribute to achieving the following learning outcomes of the Bachelor's in Sociology :
 
Issues/Theory: 
1e           Derive hypotheses from existing sociological theories which offer an answer to the questions formulated or devise new theories which can provide an answer.
1g           Determine how strong a suggested solution/theory is in the light of logical consistency and/or empirical findings.
 
Research:
2c            Make judgements about the strength of the empirical research carried out.
 
Academic skills:
4a           Possess general professional and academic proficiency in both Dutch and English.
4b           Reading texts: understanding and interpretation; differentiate between main and side issues.
4d           Ability to present orally as well as debate, clearly formulate ideas and produce satisfactory reports.
4f            Ability to participate actively in group discussions, provide constructive criticism and cooperate in small groups.
 

Assumed knowledge
  • The course builds upon the earlier BA1-course 'Introduction to the Sociology'. 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 'Introduction to the Sociology' 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.
Entry requirements
Prerequisite knowledge
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.
Prerequisite knowledge can be obtained through
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.
Required materials
Book
Selections from: Hedström, P. (2005). Dissecting the Social. On the Principles of Analytical Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Syllabus
Syllabus 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.
Instructional formats (attendance required)
Access (Required)

Coaching group (Required)

Instructional lecture (Required)

General remarks
Participation required.

Class session preparation
Studying readings, preparing assignments.

Lecture (Required)

General remarks
Participation required.

Class session preparation
Studying readings, preparing assignments.

Practical (Required)

General remarks
Participation required.

Class session preparation
Studying readings, preparing assignments.

Seminar (Required)

General remarks
Participation required.

Class session preparation
Studying readings, preparing assignments.

Tests
Final result
Test weight100
Minimum grade5.5

Assessment
Assignments and presentations (30%, average grade of the assignments and presentations) min.grade 5,0. Final written exam (70%). min.grade 5,0.

Deadlines
Weekly assignments.

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