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Master seminar (Sociological Perspectives on Cultures, Mobilities, Spaces and Identities) - Semester 2)

ECTS: 
3
Lecturer: 
dr hab. Marcelina Zuber (zuber@uni.wroc.pl), dr hab. Katarzyna Kajdanek (katarzyna.kajdanek@uwr.edu.pl), dr hab. Adam Mrozowicki (adam.mrozowicki@uwr.edu.pl)
Type: 
Optional
Seminar
Number of hours: 
2h X 15 weeks = 30 hours (1 semester)
Objective: 

The goal of the MA seminar is to get students acquainted with the applying of advanced social sciences theories in their own research projects. The seminar aims at developing students‘ capacity to think about existing data, scientific theories and methodological issues imaginatively and creatively at the same time and increasing their ability to communicate the results of their work to the public (to write a proper scientific paper). Above and beyond the role of the master seminar in the university environment can be valuable for supporting social needs of students preparing their MA thesis. In case of people working alone, they social need have often been ignored. The seminar breaks down the isolation and provides opportunity for students to meet and gain mutual support.
Thematic focus of this Master Seminar is on the questions of culture, various forms of social mobility (social, cultural, geographical flows of people, goods, ideas), social places and spaces and social and individual identities in the context of late modern / late capitalist societies. The MA thesis has to be based on own empirical research. During the seminar, comparative research will be strongly encouraged while the scope of empirical research can be either local or global/cross-national. The students would be able to choose the topic of their MA thesis in relation to general topic of the seminar and their own interests. The choice of the topic will be reflected in close cooperation with an academic teacher whose specialization is closest to the students’ area of interest (with respect to three core themes of the seminar: Culture, Mobility, Identity, Places)
The first semester of the seminar will be mostly devoted to methodological training which is necessary to develop an own research project / research design (an expected outcome will be a research project). The second semester will be focused on data collection and data analysis in relation to theoretical and methodological frameworks of the research (the expected outcome will be 2 chapters of the MA thesis, including theoretical and methodological chapter). The third semester will be focused on writing down the analytical part of the MA thesis (the expected outcome is the full MA thesis).
The core result of the seminar will be the preparation and defense of the Master Thesis

Assessment: 

The course assessment will be based on the evaluation of two components:

1. Assessment of the report from the conducted research.
2. Assessment of the research project and the process of data collection and data analysis.

Each semester will be assessed based on the evaluation of the following expected outcomes:

Semester 1: Research project including the critical literature review (theoretical chapter) and methodological research design (research questions, hypotheses, proposal of data collection methods, sample, data analysis methods) - around 15-20 pages long.

Semester 2: Two chapters of the MA thesis, including theoretical and methodological chapter (around 1/3 of the planned MA thesis content, i.e. around 25-40 pages on average). It is also expected that until the beginning of Semester 3 all students following the full time MA Programme in Sociology - Speciality Intercultural Mediation will have the majority of their empirical data collected.

Semester 3: All chapters of the MA thesis at least in an (advanced) draft version submitted to supervisors before the end of the semester.

The core result of the seminar will be the preparation and defense of the Master Thesis. The expected minimum length of the MA thesis is 20,000 words (bibliography and annexes included). There is no maximum length.

Prerequisites: 

Students attending the first semester of the MA seminar have to have at least the basic knowledge of sociological research methods and sociological general theories. They will also have to systematically acquire advanced knowledge of theories and methods in the course of the seminar.

Contents: 

Semester 1 (*2) Research design and literature review

Meetings 1-10: Introduction into the rules of the MA thesis preparation and the MA thesis structure at the Institute of Sociology, University of Wrocław. Choice of the MA thesis subject. Justification of the topic, scope, area of research. Preparing critical literature review. Joint discussion on the methodological and theoretical framework of the thesis. Mini presentations during MA seminars and joint discussion.

Meetings 11-15: Individual presentations of the research design chosen including: (1) Theoretical chapter with critical literature review; (2) Methodological chapter with the description of research questions, hypotheses, methods and techniques of data collection and data analysis

Semester 2 (*3) Fieldwork, theoretical elaboration and initial data analysis

Meetings 1-15: Preparation of the fieldwork. Ethical, technical and practical considerations. Carrying out pilot interviews. Constructing empirical database. Joint workshops on data analysis - discussions. Revisiting theoretical framework, writing up theoretical chapter (based on literature review) and methodological chapter.

Semester 3 (*4) Data analysis and writing up the MA thesis

Meetings 1-15:  Introducing students to the rules of the MA exam and MA thesis defence. Assessment of the quality of data collected. Discussion about the choice of the methods of data analysis. Creating self-awareness about the limitation of the study. Working jointly on the preparation of the drafts of empirical chapters and revising methodological and theoretical chapters.