Methods

There are two methods courses in sociology: Sociology 10 (Quantitative Analysis of Social Data) and Sociology 11 (Research Methods). Each course provides a broad overview of how sociologists ask and answer research questions, and provides students with hands-on experience doing sociological research.

Sociology 10 and 11

SOCY 10 focuses on the statistical methods that sociologists use with quantitative data. This course is designed to introduce students to the logic of statistical analysis and help students gain an awareness of the many uses of statistics in everyday life, and become informed consumers of statistics. Over the course of the term, students will work together to develop a research project and will learn to analyze, collect, and interpret social statistics. 

SOCY 11 is designed to provide students with the practical tools of doing social science research and the theoretical background for critiquing and designing research on social issues. We focus specifically on qualitative methods, engaging in a wide range of methods throughout the term—including interviewing, content analysis, and ethnographic observations—and enabling students to design a research project addressing specific and testable questions. 

Both courses focus on developing the skills necessary to interpret, critique, and conduct social science research. 

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ORC Description

10. Quantitative Analysis of Social Data

(course syllabus)

14W, 14F, 15W, 15F, 16W: 10

This course provides an introduction to the methods and statistical techniques of quantitative analysis. The first part of the course deals with the methods of quantitative analysis (research design, conceptualization, operationalization, and measurement). The second part of the course introduces students to parametric and nonparametric statistics (frequency distributions, cross tabulations, measures of association, tests of significance, correlation, and bivariate regression). There is a strong emphasis in this course on applying the methods and techniques learned to actual social science data. No previous statistical or advanced mathematical training is assumed, but solid arithmetic and basic algebraic skills are necessary. Because of the large overlap in material covered, no student may receive credit for more than one of the courses: Economics 10, Government 10, Mathematics 10, Psychology 10, or Social Sciences 10, Mathematics and Social Sciences 15 or Sociology 10 by special petition. Dist: QDS. Houle.

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ORC Description

11: Research Methods

(course syllabus)

14S, 15S, 16W, 16S: 10A

This course is designed to provide students with the practical tools of doing social science research and the theoretical background for scientific inquiry into social issues. In the first part of the course we will discuss the research process itself, as well as conceptual issues in theory building and hypothesis testing. In the second part, students will devise and carry out group and individual research projects around a substantive topic. Each project will involve a variety of research techniques, the exact use and applicability of which will be the topic of class discussions. In addition, we will discuss ethical issues and the relevance of social science research for policy making and for advocacy. Dist: SOC. McCabe.

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