400889 :Research Master: Networks and Cohesion


Voertaal Engels
Werkvorm: Lectures and seminars (Collegerooster)
Tentamenvorm: Papers, in-class participation, presentation (Tentamenrooster)
Studielast:6 ECTS credits
Blackboard informatieLink to Blackboard (Als u de melding 'Guest are not allowed in this course' krijgt, dient u nog bij Blackboard in te loggen)


dr. T. Reeskens (Coordinator)

Doel van de cursus (alleen in het Engels beschikbaar)

The objective of the course is to acquire a thorough knowledge of the concept of social capital, its sources and its consequences. In this course, students are first of all introduced to the social capital concept, its main sub-dimensions of social networks and social trust, and how the concept fits the study of social cohesion. Secondly, a particular emphasis in this course lies on the critical reading of the sources of social capital, i.e. what explains why some (people or societies) have more social capital than others. Even though the list of sources is exhaustive, a selection is made to understand the mechanisms undergirding social capital-formation. The literature is selected in such a way that it offers a wide variety of research approaches within quantitative methodology.

Upon completion of this course, students are able to (1) critically reflect upon and articulate informed opinions about the concept of social capital; (2) understand why social capital is a vital component in the study of social cohesion; (3) understand the main sources of social capital and the mechanisms that undergird them; (4) understand the (nuanced) consequences of social capital; (5) develop empirical research strategies and eventually conduct sociological research involving social capital, which is presented in a scientific paper.

Inhoud van de cursus (alleen in het Engels beschikbaar)

The concept of 'social capital' is increasingly present in the social sciences. The aim of this course is to gain knowledge about social capital theories and to gain insight into the ways the concept can explain a variety of outcomes. In the combined lecture + discussions we will deal with the following themes:

  1. Setting the stage
  2. Social networks
  3. Trust
  4. A gener(ation)al decline?
  5. Institutional explanations
  6. Inequality
  7. Ethnocultural diversity
  8. Biological sources

A more elaborate outline will be distributed during or before the first lecture.

Bijzonderheden (alleen in het Engels beschikbaar)

General setup of weeks 1-4: The eight theoretical sessions are combined lectures (approximately. 45-60mins) and group discussions (30-45mins). Students are required to read two manuscripts in preparation of every session. At the end of every session, the lecturer will introduce two discussion statements concerning the literature of next week.

General setup of weeks 5-8: Because the course requires an empirical paper involving social capital, in weeks 5 to 8, lab sessions are organized for the empirical analysis. During these sessions, the lecturer will serve as a helpdesk. In addition, the lecturer will invite the students at his office to discuss progress in paper writing. During the final week, a presentation session is planned. 

Grading: Final Paper [weight: 50%], Discussion Statements [weight: 30%], Participation and Presentation [weight: 20%]


Verplichte literatuur

  1. series of research articles and chapters from books.

Verplicht voor

  • Master Social and Behavorial Sciences (research): Minor Methodology & Statistics ( 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 )
  • Master Social and Behavorial Sciences (research): Minor Social Psychology ( 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 )
  • Master Social and Behavorial Sciences (research): Minor Social Sciences ( 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 )