SOCIAL RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims to increase awareness of the role of research design in the social work; introduce a range of design options; and foster an appreciation of the strengths and weaknesses of the different options for particular research objectives related to the social work field (see descriptor 1).
The course also aims to provide students with the fundamental methodological tools to coordinate, build and evaluate social projects(see descriptor 2). In particular, the course aims to build a methodological culture for social work in order to increase the construction of participatory social planning, change-oriented.
The course will addressed the development of independent judgment (descriptor 3), and aims to provide direct immersion in the social reality and the empirical study of primary forms of social relations.
Course contents summary
The course will address methods of data collection and analysis of qualitative data and it will discuss elements of qualitative research design including how to conduct good quality research and how to collect a corpus of data, writing up qualitative research, with particular reference to the social work and social policy issues. Will be covered Data collection methods including participant observation, interviewing. Particular attention will be paid to the partecipatory research projects.
FIRST PART (20 hours):
the paradigms of social research and the main research techniques.:
- Introduction to Research Methodology
- Research and Social Work
- The paradigms of social research
- Quality and quantity
- The methodological cycle of social research: from theory to the analysis of data
- The qualitative Methods
PART TWO (15 hours): The second part will address the theme of the research design related to the social planning:
- The process of social planning
- Social Research Design
- Models of social planning
- The methodological cycle (social planning)
- The design of the research-project
- Drafting a project
PART THREE (15 hours): The third part, conducted through a participatory approach, will be dedicated to the methodological workshops.
- Methodological workshops
- The analysis of qualitative data
1) Teaching material distributed to students by the teacher (50 p.)
2) Chapters in Methodology of social research books:
a) Liliana Leone,Miretta Prezza, Costruire e Valutare Progetti nel Sociale, Franco Angeli, Milano, 2003, Cap. 1, 2, 3, 4.
b) Lyn Richards, Janice M. Morse, Fare Ricerca qualitativa, Franco Angeli, Milano, 2007. Cap 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
c) Piergiorgio Corbetta, La Ricerca Sociale: metodologie e tecniche, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2003. Volume I, I Paradigmi di riferimento; Vol. II, Le tecniche qualitative.
The course is divided into:
1) Theoretical lectures conducted by the teacher.
2) Laboratories of methodology, where students will expernce the main techniques of research and their applications.
Assessment methods and criteria
1. oral test: The questions are designed to encourage the critically process and to assess the student’s skills of understanding the research design (descriptor 1).
2. A research design project drawn up on the basis of specific topics proposed by the teacher during the lessons or on personal work experience / social work internship. It must include specific logical, methodological issues and critical analysis. The Research Design Project aim to assess the critical skills, the research management, and the social work skills (descriptor 2), but also their independent judgment (descriptor 3) and their communication skills (descriptor 4).
The final evaluation of the student emerges from the average of the feedback obtained by the student in the single different tests, mandatory both.
- The oral exam (50%, evaluated on a scale from 1 to 30). The student must answer all open questions. The vote varies depending on the critical thinking and deepening of the answers;
- Research design project (50%, evaluated on a scale from 1 to 30), 1500 words minimum;
I will explain these assessment criteria at the beginning of the course.