Fall 2019 - LBST 202 D100

Labour Research for Social Change: Methods and Approaches (3)

Class Number: 3966

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 3 – Dec 2, 2019: Tue, 2:30–4:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Serdar Kaya
    Office Hours: Tu 11:00-13:00
  • Prerequisites:

    LBST 101 or with permission of instructor.



Introduces students to labour research through methodology and research methods for social change. By exploring what methodology is, the methods common in labour research, and understandings of social justice, students gain experience of quantitative and qualitative approaches, including survey research. Focuses on using and interpreting quantitative data and statistics for social justice and social change. Quantitative.


This course is designed to introduce students to the logic of social inquiry. The weekly classes and tutorials are geared toward giving the students a basic understanding of social research, and in the process, preparing them to write their own research proposals.

The classes before the midterm focus on the very basic issues of social research, such as identifying puzzles, formulating research questions, and reviewing the literature for the answers scholars have so far offered. The classes after the midterm, however, more specifically inquire into the nature of qualitative and quantitative research.

When teaching qualitative and quantitative research methods, the course acknowledges the philosophies that underlie them on the one hand, and demonstrates how they may very well be complementary to one another in producing knowledge on the other. The emphasis on mixed-method research thus helps the students utilize the particular strengths of both sets of procedures, while gaining a more holistic perspective.


By the end of the course, students will have gained insights into:

  • the logic of social inquiry,
  • explanatory traditions in social sciences,
  • major methodological approaches in social sciences,
  • qualitative and quantitative data collection methods,
  • in-depth knowledge of methods specific to their research project,
  • the ethical and political dimensions of political science research, and
  • the issues involved in writing up research reports and theses.
Further, students will be able to:
  • demonstrate analytical skills in evaluating research design and practice,
  • create their own research questions, and research designs,
  • demonstrate the theoretical underpinnings of their chosen approach, and
  • use library and electronic resources, and locate appropriate materials.


  • Short research proposal 10%
  • Midterm exam 20%
  • Review papers (3 x 10%) 30%
  • Full research proposal 30%
  • Participation 10%


Grading: The letter grade N (incomplete) is given when a student has enrolled for a course, but did not write the final examination or otherwise failed to complete the coursework, and did not withdraw from the course before the deadline date. An N is considered and F for purposes of scholastic standing. 

Grading System: Undergraduate Course Grading System is A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D, F, N (N standing to indicate the student did not complete).

A+ 95-100 B+ 80-84 C+ 65-69 D 50-54
A 90-94 B 75-79 C 60-64 F 0-49
A- 85-89 B- 70-74 C- 55-59  

Centre for Accessible Learning: Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need classroom or exam accommodations are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (1250 Maggie Benston Centre) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.



Bryman, A. & Bell. E. (2019). Social Research Methods (5th Canadian edition). Toronto: Oxford University Press.

Online companion resource
ISBN: 978-0-199029440

Kellstedt, P. M. & Whitten, G. D. (2018). The Fundamentals of Political Science Research (3rd edition). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
ISBN: 978-1-316642672

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html