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Course module: 200300009
200300009
Advanced Sociological Theory: Modelling 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
Contactperson for the course
dr. R. Corten
Other courses by this lecturer
Lecturer
dr. R. Corten
Feedback and availability
Other courses by this lecturer
Teaching period
1  (02/09/2019 to 08/11/2019)
Teaching period in which the course begins
1
Time slotB: TUE-morning, THU-afternoon
Study mode
Full-time
Enrolment periodfrom 03/06/2019 up to and including 30/06/2019
Enrolling through OSIRISYes
Enrolment open to students taking subsidiary coursesYes
Pre-enrolmentNo
Post-registrationYes
Post-registration openfrom 19/08/2019 up to and including 20/08/2019
Waiting listNo
Course placement processniet van toepassing
Aims
At the end of the course, the student has built up elementary expertise in:
  • Using formal theoretical tools for generating tentative answers to explanatory problems in the form of explanatory theories and models;
  • Deriving testable hypotheses from explanatory theories and models;
  • Critically comparing and evaluating sociological theories;
  • Using explanatory theories and results of empirical research for developing policy recommendations.
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.

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.
- Basic knowledge of algebra.
- 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, and questions for self-study.
Instructional formats
Access

Coaching group

Instructional lecture

General remarks
Participation required.

Class session preparation
Studying readings, preparing assignments.

Lecture

General remarks
Participation required.

Class session preparation
Studying readings, preparing assignments.

Review session

Seminar

General remarks
Participation required.

Class session preparation
Studying readings, preparing assignments.

Tests
Assignment
Test weight30
Minimum grade5.5

Assessment
The assignments (30%) are designed to practice with the application of the theoretical tools to specific applications, while the presentation lets students practice with these tools with the specific aim of critical reflection on existing theory (as well as presentation skills).

Written exam
Test weight70
Minimum grade5.5

Assessment
The written exams (70%) test knowledge of the principles and tools of sociological modeling and the ability to apply these principles tools.

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