SOCY 3201 Sociological Research Methods
Jeanne Kaufman, PhD
About the Course:
From General Catalog: Introduces students to the logics and methods of sociological research. This requirement for majors teaches ways to answer sociological questions by collecting and analyzing different types of data. Students are trained in research ethics and learn how to collect their own data and conduct original sociological research. Collection and analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data are included.
This course will teach you to investigate the world through a sociological lens and give you experience designing studies and using many of the fundamental tools of sociological research. You will build a strong set of skills that may serve you well in your future workplace, including research design, critical thinking about data, construction and administration of qualitative and quantitative data collection instruments, data management, and applied statistical and textual analysis. This class is intense and involves a lot of active learning. You will write a literature review, design studies, collect and analyze data, and present your methods and your findings. Please note that it is essential that you have taken a basic statistics course before enrolling in this class. I will teach you some basic statistical analysis, and we will assume that you have studied these statistics (though I will briefly refresh your memory).
By the end of the course you should:
- be able to locate and summarize empirical articles on a topic related to Sociology and write a literature review.
- have an understanding of sociological research methods and data analysis
- be able to apply this understanding to real-world research questions
- be able to create a research question, use various forms of research design to collect and analyze data, summarize your findings, and present your research and findings.
- Making Sense of the Social World, 6th edition, by Daniel F. Chambliss and Russell K. Schutt, Sage Publishing (2019). ISBN 978-1506364117
- The Practice of Research: How Social Scientists Answer Their Questions, by Shamus Khan and Dana Fisher, Oxford University Press (2013). ISBN 978-0199827411
- Additional readings and course material will be posted online.
Grading(out of 250 points):
- Exams (100 POINTS TOTAL) – There will be two (2) exams. Each is worth 50 points. Exams will consist of some combination of multiple choice and short answer questions. Exams are based on the readings and course material and are “open book” and untimed. Exams will be administered and submitted online via Canvas. There is no proctoring requirement.
- Literature Review – All students will complete a literature review on a Sociology-related topic of their choice (with guidance from your instructor). This assignment will include using CU Library resources to locate empirical articles, summarizing those articles, and completing a written review of the literature. Graded elements include:
- Lit Review Article Summaries (20 POINTS)
- Lit Review Rough Draft (20 POINTS)
- Lit Review Final Draft (25 POINTS)
- CITI Tutorial (10 POINTS) – Because students will be conducting sociological research, they will need to pass a short online tutorial on conducting research with human subjects. This is a required before completing the four research projects of the course.
- Four Research Projects (60 POINTS TOTAL) – Students will design a study to collect small amounts of sociological data using different research methods covered in this course: surveys, in-depth interviews, field observations, and content analysis. Each research project is worth 15 points based on study design, data collection, data analysis, and a write-up of findings.
- Analysis Presentation (15 POINTS) – Students will present their research and findings to the class via the canvas discussion board. In addition, students will be required to view and comment on other students’ presentations.