Department: Social and Economical Analysis
Coordinator: Prof.ssa Rosanna Memoli
Places available: 4
Funding: 2 scholarships
Contact person: Anna Cortellessa (+39) 06 49910503
Web site http://phdschool-economics.dse.uniroma1.it/ramse/attivita.htm
The PhD Programme Research Methods for the Analysis of Socio-Economic Change has as its goal the development and promotion of innovative techniques and methods for qualitative and quantitative analysis of complex systems seen in micro - macro perspective.
Theory and research projects have always been a moment of meeting and cross-fertilization between different areas of knowledge. The investigation in the social field is, by its very object, called to use interpretative models developed in other areas of study, and in fact both biology and physics have often found fruitful applications in Social Sciences and Humanities. The ideal transition between human action complexity and the inevitable abstraction of exact sciences is made by the method and instruments of operating statistics, an essential foundation of scientific method.
This Programme provides a meeting place between sociological and statistical knowledge, by joining theoretical foundations (dynamics and trends in society; methodology and tools of social research with particular reference to its epistemological assumptions) and usage of appropriate strategies for detection of qualitative and quantitative data, and of information technology processing and analysis. The PhD is proposed to carry out high-level training addressed to vocational qualification in the field of social research and emphasizing the plurality of viewpoints and their possible integration.
During the first year of the Programme, seminars will be held with the aim to provide qualitative and quantitative tools for the design and planning of social surveys. The ability to operate on existing data archives and information systems, on macro administrative systems and on data derived from individual micro quantitative surveys is considered indispensable for the acquisition of a rigorous and thorough knowledge. To this purpose, it is considered essential to know how to manage the numerous data files and programmes available at national and international level. Attention will be mainly directed to cross-national surveys, the ability of identifying appropriate statistical techniques to conduct secondary analysis, of comparing process data for the knowledge of the major demographic and social dynamics and for the monitoring of main processes of change and transformation in the various European and non-European nations.
Another indispensable requirement is the ability to carry out qualitative investigations, to use experimental designs, statistical techniques and information technologies appropriate to the study of textual and linguistic communication, of action, of interaction, of social network. Therefore, during this first year of methodological preparation, seminars will be preceded, when considered necessary, by preparatory Maths courses for Social Sciences, Statistics, Calculation of probabilities, Informatics and English, in order to build a solid, common basis for all students.
During the second year of the Programme, methodological training will be complemented by a solid theoretical training on the main macro-structural processes (formation, organization and transformation of the institutional context and associations in the field of environment, of the family, of employment, of consumption, of health, of social security) and of investigation on micro processes of construction of reality (motivations, attitudes, opinions that occur in interacting in social and interpersonal relations).
The knowledge and tools acquired during the first two years of the Programme will be come in handy for the design and implementation of empiric research in its phases of data acquisition, of critical analysis of sources, of the selection and application of analytical techniques and of data processing. This PhD Programme promotes seminars and meetings with experts and short stages at public and private Italian and international institutions on specific areas of interest, disciplinary and thematic, such as the welfare policies and citizenship, the process of European integration, the innovation in the Public Services, dynamics of gender and family, ethnicity and cultural integration processes.
The third year of the PhD Programme is entirely devoted to the preparation of the final thesis. The thesis may be focused on the development of either theoretical or methodological aspects closely related to real problems, or innovative application of these methods. As already mentioned, meetings or seminars cycles will be entrusted to professors teaching at Sapienza University of Rome, as well as to Italian and foreigner professors coming from other universities, with interests and issues that have emerged during educational activities or research in which individual PhD students are committed.