Spring 2022 - SA 257 D100
Understanding Quantitative Research in Sociology and Anthropology (SA) (4)
Class Number: 2731
Delivery Method: In Person
Takes the mystery, but not the magic, out of quantitative research in anthropology and sociology by introducing analytical skills necessary for reading, understanding, and critiquing quantitative research. Students evaluate popular coverage of social research; learn concepts related to statistical significance; conduct basic statistical analysis, including designing graphs and tables. Quantitative.
The goal of this course is to take the mystery out of numbers and statistics. We are presented with numerical information about the social world every day. We might read that 34% of Canadians support one political candidate, or that women tend to marry for the first time at age 30 while men marry at age 32. Where does this information come from and what does it really tell us? This course will provide an introduction to thinking about, reading, understanding, evaluating and presenting statistical analyses of data on anthropological and sociological topics.
Course material will discuss issues such as: What does it mean to measure things like abstract and moral attitudes, experiences or historical processes with numbers? What role do, and should, numbers have in society? What does this quantification allow us to do, and what are its limits? We will explore fundamental principles that form the basis of statistical analysis. What does it mean to say a group has an “average height”? What is statistical inference, and what are the concepts that its claims are based on? We will also read and compare news media descriptions of studies with original study reports, interpret different types of tables and graphs, and identify questions we should ask about each of these. You will also present findings yourself: using data from surveys, you will ask questions and answer them using quantitative data. You will learn how to use a statistics program to describe them with clear and appropriate tables and graphs.
- Reading Research (4 assignments) 23%
- Data Analysis Project (3 assignments) 37%
- Exams (Midterm and Final) 40%
For this course you will need to read and consider material before the day it’s assigned for, attend lectures and tutorials, participate in class discussion, and complete exercises before and during class that build on readings and in-class material. Readings and class time will complement rather than replicate each other, and you will be expected to draw on both as you complete exams, assignments and exercises.
Grading: Where a final exam is scheduled and the student does not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, an N grade will be assigned. Unless otherwise specified on the course syllabus, all graded assignments for this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned. An N is considered as an F for the purposes of scholastic standing.
Grading System: The Undergraduate Course Grading System is as follows:
A+ (95-100) | A (90-94) | A- (85-89) | B+ (80-84) | B (75-79) | B- (70-74) | C+ (65-69) | C (60-64) | C- (55-59) | D (50-54) | F (0-49) | N*
*N standing to indicate the student did not complete course requirements
Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct Policy: The Department of Sociology & Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T 20.01) and academic dishonesty and misconduct procedures (S10.01‐S10.04). Unless otherwise informed by your instructor in writing, in graded written assignments you must cite the sources you rely on and include a bibliography/list of references, following an instructor-approved citation style. It is the responsibility of students to inform themselves of the content of SFU policies available on the SFU website.
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.
William W. Dressler. 2015. The 5 Things You Need to Know about Statistics: Quantification in Ethnographic Research. Walnut, CA: Left Coast. (“Dressler, Chapter X”, below).
Available to buy, and electronic access is available through the library.
Readings posted to Canvas.
ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: YOUR WORK, YOUR SUCCESS
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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
TEACHING AT SFU IN SPRING 2022
Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place. Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes. You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).
Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required. You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.
Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (firstname.lastname@example.org or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.