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Prospectus

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Methods for socio-political research on Latin America

Course
2020-2021

Admission requirements

Be registered as a student of the Master’s in Latin America Studies or another master program or of another Dutch university master programme. This course is open to students who have a good command of the Spanish language, or students with a passive command of the Spanish but a good command of Portuguese.

Description

This course is an intensive preparation to the designing, carrying out and reporting of a scientific social research. The course covers the specific context for research in Latin America and the choice and delimitation of a subject for scientific analysis. The emphasis is on the theoretical underpinning and formulating of a problem statement, research questions and hypotheses. During the seminars a research question is formulated and writing techniques for the editing of the MA-thesis are put into practice. The guidance focuses on the preparing of a MA-thesis.

The transferable skills in this course are: analytical thinking (analytical skills, abstraction, evidence); project management (planning, demarcation, results orientation); responsibility (ownership, self discipline, responsible attitude concerning own project, recognize errors); commitment (dedication, motivation, proactive attitude, own initiative); self-regulation (independence, view on own goals, motives and abilities); written communication (writing skills, reporting, structure, summarizing); critical thinking (ask questions, check assumptions); integrity (honesty, morality, ethical action, personal values); intercultural skills (communication with different cultures).

Course objectives

At the end of the program, students will be able to:
1. Identify the characteristics of Latin America as a study area.
2. Know the methods and techniques necessary for the development of a qualitative research project.
3. Identify methodological tools for the design and execution of fieldwork.
4. Learn the epistemological, ethical and technical criteria for the writing of a master's thesis.

Timetable

Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

This course consists of lectures (50%) and seminars (50%). During the seminars, students will prepare a research proposal based on individual literature review and specific methodological drafts.

Assessment method

Assessment

The assessment consists of three parts:
A. Executive summary: a first version of a research proposal (1-2 pages). The aspects which are evaluated are:

(a) coherence and clarity in writing

(b) quality of the argumentation

(c) use of academic language

(d) appropriate demarcation and exploration of the research topic

(e) summarize skills

(f) argumentation about the relevance of the chosen subject

(g) suitability of the key concepts

(h) structure and lay-out of the text

B. Draft of a research proposal (3-4 pages). The aspects which are evaluated are:

(a) appropriate demarcation and exploration of the research topic

(b) coherence and clarity in writing

(c) quality of the argumentation

(d) use of academic language

(e) summarize skills

(f) logical relationship between the different components of the project

(g) quality of the collected bibliographical resources

(h) correct use of the bibliographic registration system

C. A research project (8-9 pages). The aspects which are evaluated are:

(a) appropriate demarcation and exploration of the research topic

(b) coherence and clarity in writing

(c) quality of the argumentation

(d) use of academic language

(e) summarize skills

(f) logical relationship between the different components of the project

(g) quality of the collected bibliographical resources

(h) correct use of the bibliographic registration system

(i) accuracy and feasibility of the chosen methodology

(j) adequacy of the resource map

The lecturers of Public Polities will be available in three moments to give individual advice about the research proposal.
During the course, students will read a weekly average of 50 pages of the relevant literature. This material will form the basis of the individual research proposal.

Weighing

A. Executive summary: 10% of the final mark.
B. Draft of a research proposal: 30% of the final mark.
C. Research project: 60% of the final mark.

Resit

Resit exam takes place if the mark of the final project is less than 6.0. Resit consists of a new improved version of the final project within a certain time.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

Compulsory literature

  • ISLA MONSALVE, P. (2017). *Procrastinadores en acción. Guía metodológica para el diseño, realización y reporte de una investigación de tesis universitaria / Procrastinators in Action. A methodological guide to designing, carrying out and writing a university dissertation. *Raamsdonksveer: Solfers BV.

  • HERNÁNDEZ SAMPIERI, R.; FERNÁNDEZ-COLLADO, C. & BAPTISTA LUCIO, P. (2006). Metodología de la investigación. México (D.F.): McGraw-Hill Interamericana, 4ª edición.

Complementary literature

  • BAARDA, B.; BAKKER, E.; FISCHER, T.; JULSING, M.; DE GOEDE, M.; PETERS, V. & VAN DER VELDEN, T. (2013). Basis kwalitatief onderzoek. Handleiding voor het opzetten en uitvoeren van kwalitatief onderzoek. Groningen/Houten: Noordhoff Uitgevers, 3e. druk.

  • CÁCERES, P. (2003). ‘Análisis cualitativo de contenido, una alternativa metodológica alcanzable’, Psicoperspectivas, Vol. II, 53-82.

  • DE SOUZA MINAYO, M.C.; FERREIRA DESLANDES, S. & GOMES, R. (2012). Investigación social. Teoría, método y creatividad. Buenos Aires: Lugar Editorial, 2ª edición.

  • ESCOBAR, J. & BONILLA-JIMÉNEZ, F.I. (2009). ‘Grupos focales: una guía conceptual y metodológica’, Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos de Psicología, Vol. 9, No. 1, 51-67,
    URL:http://www.uelbosque.edu.co/sites/default/files/publicaciones/revistas/cuadernos_hispanoamericanos_psicologia/volumen9_numero1/articulo_5.pdf

  • PADMOS, BRAM (2012). De scriptiesupporter. Een doeltreffende aanpak van je scriptie. Antwerpen-Apeldoorn: Garant, 11e druk.

  • SCRIBANO, A.O. (2008). El proceso de investigación social cualitativo. Buenos Aires: Prometeo Libros.

  • TAYLOR, S.J. & BOGDAN R. (1994). Introducción a los métodos cualitativos de investigación. La búsqueda de significados, ‘Capítulo 3. La observación participante en el campo’ (pp. 50-99). Buenos Aires: Editorial Paidós Básica, 2ª reimpresión.

  • TAYLOR, S.J. & BOGDAN R. (1994). Introducción a los métodos cualitativos de investigación. La búsqueda de significados, ‘Capítulo 4. La entrevista en profundidad’ (pp. 100-132). Buenos Aires: Editorial Paidós Básica, 2ª reimpresión.

Registration

Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte

Registration Contractonderwijs

Contact

Mr. Dr. P.A. Isla Monsalve

Onderwijsadministratie: Reuvensplaats

Studiecoördinator: Tim Sanders

Remarks

Attendance to the classes is compulsory. The student is allowed to miss a maximum of two sessions. In the case of more absences, the lecturer may decide to impose supplementary assignments on the student.

During the first semester this course consists of 8 classes of 3 hours each, distributed in 8 weeks.
During the second semester this course consists of 12 classes of 2 hours each, distributed in 12 weeks.

In this course Brightspace is permanently used to provide: the programme of the course; study materials (literature and PowerPoint presentation of each session); methodological indications and instructions; specific information about each college, and forms of the written reports and the research proposal.