Methodology of Social Sciences (Quantitative and qualitative techniques)

Prof.Marco Caselli; Prof. Cristina Pasqualini


Module One: Quantitative techniques(Prof. Marco Caselli)

This course aims to provide students with the basic skills regarding the realisation, understanding and assessment of empirical research of a sociological nature. Particular emphasis will be placed on standard investigation techniques (quantitative).

Module Two: Qualitative techniques(Prof. Cristina Pasqualini)

The course aims at preparing students on the main techniques concerning types of non-standard social research (qualitative) via certain specific examples of research and practical exercises.


Module One: Quantitative techniques

Introduction to social research.

Standard research

–planning research.

–Constructing a questionnaire.

–Samplingand measurement.

–Monovaried analysis.

Social research: discussion topics and problematic aspects.

Module Two: Qualitative techniques

–Individual Interviews.

–Participatory observation.

–Focus groups.

–Social research: examples of experience.


Module One: Quantitative techniques

M. Caselli, Indagare col questionario. Introduzione alla ricerca sociale di tipo standard, Vita e Pensiero, Milano, 2005 [The whole book (including the formulae)].

Choose one of the following:

H.S. Becker, I trucchi del mestiere. Come fare ricerca sociale,Il Mulino, Bologna, 2007.

M. Caselli, Le scale di Emory S. Bogardus, in R. Bichi, (edited by), La distanza sociale. Vecchie e nuove scale di misurazione, Angeli, Milano, 2007.

M. Caselli,Measuring... What? Notes on Some Globalization Indices, in Globalizations, 3, sept. 2008 [online publication available from the university library].

M. Caselli,Measuring the Integration of Immigrants: Critical notes from an Italian experience, in International Migration, Article first published online 29 nov. 2012 [online publication available from the university library].

P. Parra Saiani, Gli indicatori sociali, Angeli, Milano, 2009.

E. Ruspini, La ricerca longitudinale, Angeli, Milano, 2004.

A. Vitalini, Il campionamento casuale. Manuale pratico per ricercatori sociali, Angeli, Milano, 2010.

ModuleTwo: Qualitative techniques

R. Bichi,L’intervista biografica. Una proposta metodologica, Vita e Pensiero, Milano, 2002, all text.

I. Acocella,Il focus group: teoria e tecnica, F. Angeli, Milano, 2008 (Chapters: I, II, III, IVand V).

G. Gobo,Descrivere il mondo. Teoria e pratica del metodo etnografico in sociologia, Carocci, Roma, 2003 (Chapters: IV, VandVII).

Choose one of the following:

F. Introini-C. Pasqualini, Compless-età. Dentro le storie degli adulti giovani, Carocci, Roma, 2005 (Introduzione, chaptertwo, the whole second part and the endings).

E. Morin-C. Pasqualini, Io, Edgar Morin. Una Storia di vita, F. Angeli, Milano, 2007 (Introduzione,first dialogue, second dialogueand thirddialogue).

J. Madge, Lo sviluppo dei metodi di ricerca empirica in sociologia, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2003 (Chapters: two, fourand six).


For module one: lectures; some exercises regarding the examination will be posted on the lecturer’s webpage. For module two: lectures and practical exercises.


For module one: oral examination. For module two: oral examinations; full-time students will also be assessed on their practical work and exercises.


For module one: there is no difference between the programme for full-time students and distance-learning students. Information concerning the course, examinations and lecturer can be found on the lecturer’s webpage.

For module two: full-time students will have a reduced programme in accordance with the tutor.

Further information can be found on the lecturer's webpage at or on the Faculty notice board.