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WS 2020-21  - online-Seminar "Reflecting on Knowledge and Its Production - Theory, Practice and Methodology across Disciplines" in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Veronica Lipphardt (UCF) and Dr. Gernot Saalmann (IfS)

This semester it is also open for interested students in Master's programs and PhD-Candidates at our university as well as of our EPICUR partner Universities. It is aimed at fostering transdisciplinary research skills and is an integral part of the current Master Labs at the University of Freiburg.


The ability to conduct research and to develop new products in interdisciplinary teams are increasingly considered central qualifications in academia and beyond. Successful cooperation requires the members of heterogeneous research teams to be familiar with the philosophical premises, the specific practices, as well as the methodological approaches of different disciplines and respective research traditions.

The aim of this interdisciplinary seminar is to prepare Master Lab students for interdisciplinary cooperation in research contexts. Fostering awareness of the epistemological problems and foundation of sciences may help in inter-disciplinary understanding. Together with getting insight on the praxis of making science and technology it will contribute to the reflexivity of own research and science in general. Furthermore, the training on theoretical basics and methodological challenges of survey research will help to evaluate quantitative research designs and thus quality of social data.

Our teaching endeavour is to transcend discipline-specific boundaries by focusing on processes of knowledge production across disciplines thus establishing the foundations for transdisciplinary dialogue. 

Topic 3: Quantitative Methods of Social Research (by Dr. Irina Siegel)

If you want to make use of social data, you should be aware of possible problems inherent in some studies' designs and manipulation possibilities in the way the findings are being produced, interpreted and presented to the lay public. This course will exemplify the misrepresentation of social data and dwell on the essential quality criteria of the survey research.
We will focus on methodological challenges in survey research: questionnaire design, response behavior, sampling procedures as well as interpreting the results. The aim is to get awareness of social reality constructions by variating the scope of "permissible" methods and techniques and to learn how to assess the quality of research.
Overall, the course should not provide ready-made techniques or canonize methodological knowledge, but rather raise questions and irritate supposed certainties. It trains adopting a scrutinizing attitude with regard to evaluating design strategies, choices and techniques of social quantitative research, and not only. Answering short knowledge quizzes, analyzing case studies and writing short assignments will encourage course participants to reflect on methods and results when evaluating (survey) study quality.

SoSe 2020  - online-Kurs "Reflection on Knowledge and Its Production - Theory, Practice and Methodology across Disciplines" in cooperation mit UCF im WS 2020/21 steht der Kurs offen auch für interssierte Master Studierende und Doktoranden