Surveys for Social Change

SO/AN 404


How do you know that?

We are in contact with social research everyday - newspapers report conflicting studies, dinner is interrupted by survey calls, documentary films and reality TV explore social problems, and bestselling books are based on ethnographies of unusual groups.  How do we evaluate all this information?  How can you tell the good, reliable information from the bad?  In addition, how do you answer your own everyday sociological questions - what are the challenges and rewards of being multiracial?  Is my family typical?  How many civilians die in war?  Has poverty increased or decreased?  Who’s more likely to express religious convictions, men or women?  In this course, you will learn how to critically evaluate the research of others, how to design and conduct your own original research, and how to systematically, scientifically analyze your findings.


“Are you just pissing and moaning, or can you verify what you’re saying with data?”