Research Methods II

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation ElectiveSDS2DS1054

Semester and Year Offered: Winter, II Semester, 1st Year

Course Coordinator: Babu P. Remesh

Email of course

Pre-requisites: Completion of RM 1 course in the previous semester

Course Objectives/Description:

The main objective of the course is to provide a holistic understanding to the students on appropriate research methods in development studies. RM 2 is planned as a sequel to RM 1 course, which the students learned in the previous semester. The entire RM course of Development studies is broadly divided into two part – RM 1 with more orientation towards qualitative research methods and RM 2 with more contents on qualitative methods. Though this split has been created more for the purposes of pedagogical practicalities, due attention is given to connect the contents of both these courses. The basic idea is that while students can grasp the distinctness of quantitative and qualitative approaches, they can also learn to effectively combine both the approaches.

Course Outcome:

At the end of this course, the students are expected to have some basic but clear understandings about what qualifies as social science research and what are the various stages of research processes – right from conception, planning, collecting and making sense of data to preparation of a research report.

The course is also expected to equip the students with skills, techniques and methods required to successfully undertake development related research work.

The course will also help the students in learning essential skills for working towards their Master’s level dissertation.

Brief description of main modules:

Module 1: Philosophy of social science research- Different trends-– Use of theories in qualitative research-Field work tradition

Module 2: Principles of Statistics in Data Analysis : Measures of Central Tendancy, Dispersion, Correlation, Basics of Regressoion Analysis, Probability and Models of Distributions, Measures of Inequality

Module 3: Collection of data -Use of techniques- Questionnaire- Interview -Participant and non-participant Observation- Ethnography -Case Studies- Oral history documentation– Text/Content Analysis – Other sources of Qualitative Data

Module 4: Transcription and/or translation of data- Classification of (indexing) data- Interpretation and analysis of qualitative data- Empirical cases of qualitative studies - Quality of data and ethics in research

Module 5: Conduct of a Field Study

Module 6: Combining the qualitative and quantitative methods –Brief introduction to statistical packages used in social science research

Assessment Details with weights:

S.NoAssessmentDate/period in which Assessment will take placeWeightage
1Individual work – Preparation of a note on an identified theme related to research methods and its presentation; Preparation of a note book covering major topics covered in RM2; Participation in overall activities of the course – (40%)February end/March beginning40%
2Test Paper March end 30%
3Group work (design and conduct of a field Study)Third/fourth week of April40%


Bogdan, R.; Ksander, M. (1980). "Policy data as a social process: A qualitative approach to quantitative data". Human Organization. 39 (4): 302–309.Reading List:

  • Bryman, A. (2008) Social Research Methods. Third edition. Oxford: OUP.
  • Chambers, J.M. (1983): Graphical Methods for Data Analysis, Duxburry, USA
  • Corbin, J., & Strauss, A. (1990). Grounded Theory Research: Procedures, Canons, and Evaluative Criteria. Qualitative Sociology, 13(1), 3-21.
  • Creswell, J., (2009) Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods Research, Sage Publications.
  • Durkheim, Emile (1895) “What is a Social Fact?” in The Rules of Sociological Method, the Free Press
  • Hall, Peter A (2003) “Aligning Ontology and Methodology in Comparative Research” in James
  • Hammet, Daniel, Twyman, Chasca and Graham, Mark (2015) : Research and Field Work in Development, Routledge, New York
  • Hamilton, Lawrence C. (1991): Regression With Graphics: A Second Course in Applied Statistics, Brooks/Cole, California. [Introductory chapters]
  • Mukherjee, Chandan (1997): Econometrics and Data Analysis For Developing Countries, Routledge.
  • Ragin, Charles S. (1994) Constructing Social Research: The Unity and Diversity of Method Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press, Chapters 1-3
  • Robert E. Stake (2005) “Qualitative Case Studies” in Norman K. Denzin and Yvonna S. Lincoln (eds) The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research, Third Edition, Sage, New Delhi
  • Rubin, Herbert and Irene Rubin. 2005. Qualitative Interviewing: The Art of Hearing Data. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications (second edition).
  • Schaeffer, Nora Cate and Stanley Presser. 2003. “The Science of Asking Questions” in Annual Review of Sociology 29:65-88.
  • Srivastava, V. K. (ed.), 2004, Methodology and Field Work, New Delhi: OUP.
  • Additional Readings:
  • Berg, Bruce L. (2001) Qualitative Research Methods for the Social Sciences.
  • Bulmer, Martin and Donald P. Warwick. (1993) Social Research in Developing Countries: Surveys and Censuses in the Third World. London: Routledge.
  • Christians, Clifford. G. (2005) “Ethics and Politics in Qualitative Research” in Norman K. Denzin and Yvonna S. Lincoln (eds.) The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research, Third Edition, Sage, New Delhi
  • Jennings, Michael (2006) “Using Archives” in Vandana Desai & Robert Potter (eds.) Doing Development Research. London: Sage Publications. Pages 241-250.
  • John, Gerring (2004) “What is a case study and what is it good for?” in American Political Science Review, Vol. 98, No. 2, 341-354
  • Kothari, Uma (2005) 'From Colonial Administration to Development Studies: a postcolonial critique of the history of development studies', in A. Bebbington and Uma Kothari eds., A Radical History of Development Studies: Individuals, Institutions and Ideologies, Zed, London; pp 47-66
  • King, G., R. Keohane, & S. Verba. (1994) Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • King, G., R. Keohane, & S. Verba. (1994) Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Mahoney and Dietrich Rueschemeyer (eds.) Comparative Historical Analysis in the Social Sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Munck, G., (1998), Canons of Research Design in Qualitative Analysis, Studies in Comparative International Development, 33(3), p.18-45.
  • Norman K. Denzin and Yvonna S. Lincoln (eds) (2005) The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research, Third Edition, Sage, New Delhi.
  • Silverman, D. (2005) Doing Qualitative Research, Sage, London
  • Silverman, D. (2006) ‘Credible qualitative research’ Chapter 8 in Interpreting Qualitative Data: Methods for Analyzing Talk, Text and Interaction London: Sage Publications
  • Strauss, Anselm. 1987. Qualitative Analysis for Social Scientists. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.