This research methods seminar aims to emphasize that every social, economic or ecological transformation or crisis within a society is necessarily based on changing and transforming more or less implicit assumptions about the characteristics of that very same society and the way how it is thought, conceptualized and imagined. This seminar explores and discusses research methods that have been developed to address changing societal notions of itself and the role of the individual in the production of social meaning. Democracy for example is an always evolving idea of “the democratic” and its implications and therefore every research dealing with a research puzzle concerning societal developments shall address methodically these shifting notions of the modern society itself. One of the key objectives of the course is to familiarize Ph.D. candidates and young scholars with particular theoretical approaches which are commonly used in social-science research.
This research methods seminar focuses on
- selected qualitative methods and concepts, which very are commonly used for the analysis of modern societies. Furthermore, we will explore how these methods may be used to support research projects which fall into the realm of the social sciences.
- the concrete practise of qualitative research design by looking at different qualitative research projects and retracing the process of data collection, data processing, data analysis and interpretation.
- which research puzzles might be productively addressed with these methods and how they can be translated into precise research questions.
- how the history of qualitative methods and philosophy has developed since the beginning of the 20th century to understand its development.
- PhD theses and other research proposals will be presented, discussed and further developed.