Schedule 2011

Goals for Semester

  1. Zero-in on interesting (to you and in general), do-able project and carry out background work necessary to be prepared to go into the field (or equivalent) in the summer.

Possible elements

  1. Substantive Background
  2. Analysis of Sociological Questions
  3. Theoretical Bootstrapping
  4. Human Subjects Review Proposal

Readings
Luker, Kristin. 2008. Salsa Dancing into the Social Sciences: Research in an Age of Info-glut. Harvard University Press, Cambridge (ISBN: 0674031571). (See also ABEBOOKS).

Lipson, Charles . 2005. How to Write a BA Thesis: A Practical Guide from Your First Ideas to Your Finished Paper (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (See also ABEBOOKS).

The Sociology Writing Group. 2007. A Guide to Writing Sociology Papers. Worth Publishers; 6th edition. (See also ABEBOOKS.)


1.20 Introduction and Getting Under Way

We will hit the ground running, working on two fronts simultaneously. First, we will be carrying out a rapid replication of two published research studies. Second, we will begin to brainstorm about possible topics for our own research.
For the replication studies, we'll split the class up into two groups, one for each project. Within the groups, there will be a division of labor: all team members will contribute to some tasks, while other tasks will be assigned to different team members. One team member will be the principal investigator responsible for coordinating the team's work.
The brainstorming will follow a designated program. The point of this is (1) to be systematic, and (2) to be low stress.
Pedagogically, the logic of this approach is that it's best to see how something is done before attempting to do it solo, that we can learn a lot from one another, and that chewing on big questions like "what's my thesis on?" is best done slowly and perhaps not on center stage.

READ (["How to do an annotation" Annotation] to be completed prior to seminar meeting)

Rossi, Alice S. 1965. "Naming Children in Middle-Class Families." ''American Sociological Review, Vol. 30,'' No. 4, pp. 499-513.
Robert M Emerson. 2008. "Responding to Roommate Troubles: Reconsidering Informal Dyadic Control." ''Law & Society Review. Vol. 42,'' Iss. 3; p. 483-512.

Discussion and Workshop

What do we know about creating a sociological research question? Creating an online survey? Creating an interview guide?

In Class Work

Today we will divide up into teams one for the ["Roommate Trouble Project"] and one for the ["Baby Naming Project"] and assign initial tasks and create a project time line. Each student will have specific duties to carry out over the next week. Initial tasks will include drafting interview guides and online surveys, writing up human subjects materials, doing background reading for lit review, and thinking about sampling and recruitment of subjects.

["Home Work Proseminar" For Next Week]

Gmail, sign up for wiki, create your own class member page, carry out your first task.


1.27 Heading into the Field

DUE
Assignments per division of labor for replication projects.
Brainstorm forms filled out or blogged
READ
Luker, Chs. 1-4 (about 75 pages)
Luker, Appendix One: "What to Do If You Don’t Have a Case"
["Protips" PROTIP # 1: How to get the most out of your reading time]
["Protips" PROTIP # 2: How to summarize and critique a reading]
WORKSHOP
How to use online databases (Soc Abstracts, Google scholar, and more)
Practice Interviewing. Borrow ["How to use Zoom H2 Recorder" digital audio recorder] from AV Services. Assignment: record, upload, transcribe.
Assignment: 5 minute interview with classmate about work done on project this week and then upload MP3 transcribe and write up the notes.


2.3 The Useful Writing of an Interesting Literature Review

DUE

READ
["Protips" PROTIP # 4: How to write a literature review]
Luker, ch. 5 "Reviewing the Literature"
WORKSHOP
From annotated bibliographies to literature reviews.
Constructing our calendar/timeline.


2.10

DUE
Project Bibliography (25 sources)
Final topics (1 page) and Project Timeline
READ
(Qualitative Interviews)
Workshop:: How to conduct a qualitative interview


2.17 Let Someone Else Collect Your Data

The payoff in social science comes from the analysis and interpretation of data, not its collection. The latter can take up a disproportionate amount of time, especially for beginners. Today we talk about strategies for avoiding the pitfall, most notably, by using data collected by others.
DUE

READ
(Quantitative Survey Data Analysis): Paper based on GSS
WORKSHOP
General Social Survey (GSS) intro in computer lab
SEMINARStudent 1 and Student 2


2.24 Field Work and Ethnography

DUE
Annotated Bibliography (10 sources)
READ
(Ethnography)
WORKSHOP
How to do ethnographies
SEMINAR
Student 3 and Student 4


3.3 Using the Logic We Learned about in Methods Class

DUE
Revised Timeline
Substantive Background Essay (5 pages)
READ
Luker, Ch. 6 "On Sampling, Operationalization, and Generalization"

Zerubavel, E. ''The Clockwork Muse''

WORKSHOP
Working with U.S. Census data
Seminar
Student 5


3.10 Three Flavors of Ethics

The three flavors refer to our three basic responsibilities. Do no harm. Get it right. Know whom you work for.
DUE
Essay: Description of the pros and cons of three potential research methods (5-6 pages)
READ
(Content Analysis)
Luker Ch. 7 "Getting Down to the Nitty-Gritty" in which the author says it's time to get this show on the road…
WORKSHOP
HSRB applications
Social Location and Research Ethics
SEMINAR
Student 6


3.17 Try It Out

DUE
HSRB applications (if applicable)
READ
Field Work TBA
Luker, Ch. 8 "Field (and Other) Methods" Participant Observation, Interviews, Focus Groups, Content Analysis
SEMINAR
Student 7


3.31

DUE
Complete Preliminary Research (interviews, tables, etc.)
READ
(Ethics)
WORKSHOP
SEMINAR
Student 8


4.7

DUE
Write-Up of Pilot Study and Preliminary Data Analysis
Workshop:: Powerpoint
SEMINARStudent 9


4.14

DUE
Human Subjects Appendix with committee response
READ
Luker Ch. 9 "Historical-Comparative Methods"
Luker Ch. 10 "Data Reduction and Analysis"
SEMINAR
Student 10


4.21 Visualizing Theories and Data

DUE
Rough Draft of Zeroth Draft (which is due next week)
WORKSHOP
Charts and Tables


4.28 Nearly There

DUE
["Deliverables — Proseminar" Full Zeroth Draft Due]
READ
PROTIP # 5: How to present a paper or discussion at a professional meeting
WORKSHOP
Presentations


5.5 Wrapping Up and Looking Forward

DUE
Presentation in Electronic Form
Project Presentations 1-6
Sign up to bring food


Project Presentations 7-12
Sign up to bring food

EXTRAS

EXERCISE
Annual Review Exercise

INITIAL WRITING EXERCISE

See Luker Appendix 3 for an example of annotated bibliography