ESS 1.4: Empirical Methods in Social Science

TU Dresden | Wintersemester 2019 / 2020 ESS 1.4: Empirical Methods in Social Science

ESS 1.4: Empirical Methods in Social Science

At the end of the semester, participants have acquired sound knowledge in the repertoire of empirical research methods in social sciences and are able to apply them in investigating questions of social research. They have acquired social competence for bargaining the field access with actors participating in the research process in an ethically appropriate way. They can critically reflect and assess opportunities and limitations of social research methods, in particular regarding generalizing empirical findings of social scientific studies.

In this lecture and the seminar participants will be introduced to methods of empirical social research, in particular concerning four thematic areas:

  • methodology of quantitative and qualitative research strategies; topics, questions, and objectives of research; research designs and sampling methods; typical situations of research processes;
  • methods of collecting and generating data (quantitative standardised questionnaires and surveys, qualitative semi-structured interviews and focus groups, ethnographic methods, strategies of quantitative and qualitative research on secondary data);
  • an introduction to methods and procedures of analysing and interpreting qualitative and quantitative data;
  • standards of reporting in social research methods, presentation of empirical results.

 Structure of the course:

  • Lectures: Basic material and readings will be provided by email or available online in OPAL, the e-learning platform of TU Dresden.
  • Student presentations based on publications, and discussion. These sessions will require preparation by students, on an individual basis or in working groups.



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