Academic year
2024/2025 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LM2680 (AF:502301 AR:288092)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
1st Semester
Course year
Put most simply, theories are metaphors that frame how we look at the specific subjects we study. In this course we read excerpts of contemporary theoretical texts and discuss how they apply to the regions we are studying (China, Japan, Korea). In the second half, we study research methods. There are many ways how to study a given topic and we need to make a choice. This choice and the rationalization for a specific method is called methodology. We need to consider which methods fits best to (1) our theoretical perspective and (2) the aim of our research. Any academic study involves choices with regard to theory and methodology. In this course you learn about important contemporary theoretical perspectives (what to study and why) and methodologies (how to study it), but you will also be enabled to apply this to East Asia. You will also learn to pay attention to theoretical and methodological choices of academic texts that you will be reading in the course of studies.
When studying at the Master level, it is no longer sufficient to "study" in the simplest definition of the term, e.g., spend time thinking, reading and writing. You now need a plan. Theory, methods and methodology are the principle building blocks to come up with such a plan. By participating in this course, you will become able to design, plan and realize an academic project due to your knowledge in theory, methods and methodology.
You are required to read the assigned texts, discuss them in class and endeavor to transfer the knowledge of these texts on study issues you are interested in. Learning is not passive in this course (memorize and repeat for an exam). You need to apply your knowledge in creative but constructive ways.
Our course is composed of the following thematic sessions:
1. Introduction to the topic of the course
2. Defining your worldview
3. Quantitative approaches I
4. Quantitative approaches II
5. Qualitative approaches I
6. Qualitative approaches II
7. Where is knowledge produced? Looking north, looking south
8..How to overcome your current epistemology: Critical ethnography
9. Combatting essentialism: Troubles in the contact zone
10. What do categories mean? Ethnicity without groups
11. Cool rules: Ethnicity by design
12. What if we read differently? World Literature
13. / 14. / 15. Student presentations
Brubaker, Rogers (2002) "Ethnicity without groups" in: European Journal of European Sociology XLIII(2): 163-189.
Connell, Raewyn (2007) Southern Theory. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Maher, John C. (2005) "Metroethnicity, Language, and the Principle of Cool". International Journal of the Sociology of Language 175/176: 83-102.
Moretti, Franco (2002) "Conjectures on World Literature" in: New Left Review (January / February). Online available.
Pratt, Mary Louise (2007) Imperial Eyes. Travel Writing and Transculturation. Abingdon: Routledge.
Thomas, Jim (1993) Doing Critical Ethnography. Newbury Park: Sage.
There will be no exam in this course. In its place, participants are required to develop a research project that includes research question, theory, method and work plan.
Reading, discussion, and structured knowledge transfer are the principal activities in this course. Active participation and group work are required.
The principle language used in this course is English but we can switch to Italian whenever necessity requires it.

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Poverty and inequalities" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 05/03/2024