SOC 312 - The Evaluation of Evidence in Sociology
Section: 001
Term: FA 2009
Subject: Sociology (SOC)
Department: LSA Sociology
Credits:
4
Requirements & Distribution:
QR/1
Advisory Prerequisites:
Students enrolling in SOC 312 are very strongly encouraged to have already completed an introductory statistics course (e.g. SOC 210 or STATS 350) before enrolling in this course.
Other Course Info:
Fulfills the sociology and social anthropology concentrations’ Research Methods Requirement.
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

In this course, students will learn about four basic methods used in sociology research: interviews, quantitative analysis, archival research, and experiments. Each research method has a distinctive logic and procedure for producing data, and understanding the basic features of this production provides surprisingly powerful tools for evaluating research findings. The fundamental theme of this course is that data are not just facts that fall from the sky. They are produced, and we can determine systematically whether we believe them or not. The course has three explicit goals. The first is to provide an overview of social science research methods, the second is to develop the student's ability to search and evaluate information, and the third is to help students begin to write brief critical summaries of readings with scientific content. By the semester’s end, students should be able to assess the soundness of social science research design, data collection strategy, and data analysis given the author’s research questions and theory. With these skills, students will be able to determine whether they agree with a researcher’s conclusions, or, when they disagree, clearly articulate why they do. Students will read examples of sociological research, including a number by current faculty or graduates of Michigan’s Sociology Department. The instructor will occasionally bring in guest speakers to share their experiences with a given research method.

This course offers an alternative track for sociology and social anthropology concentrators to meet the Research Methods Requirement for their concentration. SOC 312 provides a more rigorous and “hands-on” approach to learning research methods than SOC 310. All 312 students complete their own independent research and have written a finished research paper at the end of the semester. Creating a second path to fulfilling the Research Methods Requirement provides students who want it with a more intensive approach to learning research methods in sociology.

Crs Requirements: Five 5-10 page papers that include figures, tables, and a bibliography. Each paper represents one section of their research paper. At the end of the term, students turn in their entire paper as one complete document. Several reaction papers are required during the semester that allow students to synthesize the readings in a given research area and ask questions and express confusion about the course material. Students write brief critical summaries of readings with scientific content. During the course of the semester, students formulate and execute their own survey research project. The end result is a 30-40 page research paper, completed in stages during the course of the academic term. No midterm or final for this class.

Intended Audience: Junior and senior Sociology concentrators

Class Format: 3 hours lecture weekly plus 1 hour discussion section

SOC 312 - The Evaluation of Evidence in Sociology
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 
47118
Open
16
 
-
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
002 (DIS)
P
47119
Open
11
8SOC Ugrd
-
F 9:00AM - 10:00AM
003 (DIS)
P
47120
Open
1
6SOC Ugrd
-
F 10:00AM - 11:00AM
004 (DIS)
P
47121
Open
4
4SOC Ugrd
-
F 11:00AM - 12:00PM
005 (DIS)
P
47122
Closed
0
3SOC Ugrd
-
F 12:00PM - 1:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.


Coursepack Location:
Excel (1117 S. University, Phone: 734/996-1500)
Note:
Available at the start of Fall semester. Readings will also be posted on-line.
ISBN: 9780716755197
Research methods in the social sciences, Author: Chava Frankfort-Nachmias, David Nachmias., Publisher: Worth Publishers 7th ed. 2008
Required
ISBN: 0226065669
The craft of research, Author: Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams., Publisher: University of Chicago Press 3rd ed. 2008
Required
ISBN: 0872205738
The nuts & bolts of college writing, Author: Michael Harvey., Publisher: Hackett Pub. Co. 2003
Optional
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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