Theory and Methodology of the Social Sciences - 1st semester


1. Knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of scientific research; 2. Understanding the relationship between theoretical arguments and empirical data; 3. Understanding of the basic differences and complementarities between the main strategies of sociological research (understanding / explanation; inductive / deductive; extensive / intensive; qualitativ/quantitative; basic/applid and participatory); 4. Understanding key aspects of the theories of concept construction and concept measurement; 5. Ability to make scientific sense of concrete social situations using basic sociological concepts, taught at other curricular units; 6. Understanding and ability to apply the basic structure of a research plan; 7. Undrstanding of the operationalization of elementary problems and sociological hypotheses into simple empirical rsearch plans; 8. Ability to communicate research procedures in an accurate and meaningful way.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Rui Santos


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language

Portuguese with teacher supervision in FL


Not applicable


Boudon, R. (s.d.). Os métodos em sociologia. Edições Rolim. Durkheim, E. (2001). As regras do método sociológico. Presença. Gilbert, N. (Ed.) (2008). Researching social life. Sage. Guerra, I. C. (2006). Pesquisa qualitativa e análises de conteúdo: sentidos e formas de uso. Principia. Quivy, R., & Van Campenhoudt, L. (2016). Manual de investigação em ciências sociais. Gradiva. Silva, A. S., & Pinto, J. M. (Eds.) (1990). Metodologia das ciências sociais. Edições Afrontamento. Weber, M. (1997). Conceitos sociológicos fundamentais. Edições 70.

Teaching method

In-class teaching, supplemented with on-line learning resources and personalized tutorial support in schedules made available to students, either as recommended by the teacher or as requested by them. Theoretical classes (50%): lectures explananting the syllabus contents Practical classes (50%): tutored work on the units´ readings and other support materials; exercises and tests for formative and summative evaluation.

Evaluation method

Evaluation methods A. Group exercise-solving in class, for formative purposes, with no summative evaluation. B. Individual exercise-solving in class, for summative evaluation. The average of the grades of these exercises is weighted 50% in the final grade. C. Two written tests in class. The average of the grades in these tests is weighted 50% in the final grade.

Subject matter

1. \"To treat social facts as things\"?: the scientific knowledge of social phenomena 1.1. Rupture, problematization and constructio of knowledge 1.2. Methodical doubt: falsifiability, demonstration and verification 1.3. Objectivation: explicit method and instrsubjective criticism 1.4. The goals of knowledge: to understand and to explain 1.5. Problems, theories and hypotheses 2. Research strategies and outlooks 2.1. Inductive and deductive 2.2. Intensive and extensive 2.3. Qualitative and quantitative 2.4. Understanding and explanatory 2.5. Basic, applied, and participatory 3. Theory, method, and research 3.1. The relatioships between theoretical and empirical constructions 3.1.1. Operacionalization and conceptualization: the construction of concepts and variables 3.1.2. Research planning as operacionalization 3.2. Typical phases in research and planning 3.2.1. Bibliographical research 3.2.2. Exploratory research and its deepening 3.2.3. Hypotheses-testing research


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