Understanding the Logic of Social Research: Research Methodologies in Nationalism Studies 1.

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Course Description: 

The aim of this course is two-fold: first, students will gain a basic understanding of the logic of a broad range of qualitative and quantitative social research methods in order to be able to critically engage with existing studies in the field of nationalism studies and to be able to choose the right methodological approach for their own empirical research. The second aim of this seminar is to support students throughout the exciting journey of planning and preparing their thesis. We will discuss various aspects of this project from finding the right topic, through selecting the most suitable supervisor, and writing a good proposal.

The course conssits of three thematic blocks. Before the thematic blocks, in our first class, we will start with a general overview of the thesis process. In the first thematic block, we will take a critical look at quantitative research methods and learn about the most recent developments in the field of measuring ethnic and national belonging and identity through quantitative approaches. In the second thematic block, we will get a deeper understanding of qualitative approaches in the interdisciplinary field of natioanlism studies. During this block, our field trip to Budapest will also take place and students will conduct a small project related to the topics of the tour. We will conclude this block by taking a look at causality in qualitative and quantitative research. In the final, third block, taking into consideration what we have learned about good research, we will discuss the steps to be taken for a successful and fun thesis-journey, with many examples and practical advice for students. We will start by discussing the question of how to find the right topic for the thesis, followed by choosing the right supervisor. Then the process of proposal writing will be in our focus in order to help everyone to successfully complete this first milestone of the thesis writing process.


The course will have a continuation in the winter term specifically for students who plan to conduct empirical research.

Learning Outcomes: 

Students, by the end of the course, will have a general understanding of the logic of social research and of the applicability of different methodological approaches to the study of social problems. They will also be able to critically engage with empirical research in the field of nationalism studies and be familiar with the concept of interdisciplinary methodology. Students will also be prepared to set out to write a great thesis, and will know what steps to take throughout this process.