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Regular version of the site
Bachelor 2019/2020

Theory Construction and Model Building

Type: Elective course (Sociology and Social Informatics)
Area of studies: Sociology
When: 2 year, 3, 4 module
Mode of studies: Full time
Instructors: Ilya Musabirov
Language: English
ECTS credits: 5

Course Syllabus

Abstract

Based on concepts from Sociological Theory and specifically of Analytical Sociology, students will get experience in working with theoretical constructs and relationships in order to generate, adapt and build on theoretical models. The main focus is on causal analysis and contemporary approach to explanation in social science. The course includes large practical part which covers working with path models, agent-based models, and other modern tools of Computational Social Science. The course is targeted to students considering research or analytical career.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • equipping students with tools to transform ideas into formal theories
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Thoroughly understand the role of theory in sociological research
  • Understand the link between theorizing and modeling
  • Interpret modeling results in sociological terms
  • Translate research ideas into formal theories
  • Design research based on contemporary approaches to model building, including path modelling and simulation
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Understanding and explanation in social sciences
  • Concepts. Instantiation
  • Relationships and thought experiments
  • Causality. Causal models
  • Mathematical modeling
  • Tools for Mechanism-Based Explanation in Social Sciences
  • Building Agent-Based Models
  • Analyzing Agent-Based Models
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Seminar Participation
    For students who have confirmed valid excuse compensatory tasks can be submitted by the last seminar date.
  • non-blocking Essay paper I
  • non-blocking Essay paper II
  • non-blocking Homework Agent-Based modelling Project
  • non-blocking Peer review
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (4 module)
    0.2 * Essay paper I + 0.2 * Essay paper II + 0.2 * Homework Agent-Based modelling Project + 0.1 * Peer review + 0.3 * Seminar Participation
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Wilensky, U., & Rand, W. (2015). An Introduction to Agent-Based Modeling : Modeling Natural, Social, and Engineered Complex Systems with NetLogo. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=976350

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Manzo, G. (2014). Analytical Sociology : Actions and Networks. Hoboken: Wiley. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=714658