Students will learn about several of the main approaches to social science research, including ethnography, focus groups, interviewing, and survey analysis. We will emphasize learning by doing, with students actively participating in each of these social science approaches.
Substantively, the course will give students a basic understanding of some of the most important concepts in the social sciences: globalization, culture, and social change. The class will focus on the concept of culture, the diversity of cultures, the ways in which cultures influence each other through globalization, and the ways cultures change. We will consider how social change occurs and the theories of ordinary people about the causes and consequences of change.
Students will participate in the course through readings, classroom discussions, and involvement in focus groups. Students will also work in teams of 3-5 to write a brief ethnography using a movie provided by the instructor, to prepare a brief written proposal for a module of 8-15 questions for a survey; to conduct two interviews; and to conduct and report an elementary analysis of survey data concerning some aspect of globalization, culture, and social change.
Grades will be based on class participation, the ethnography, the survey module, and the paper analyzing survey data. There will be no examinations.