Spring 2023 - SA 257 OL02

Understanding Quantitative Research in Sociology and Anthropology (SA) (4)

Class Number: 7869

Delivery Method: Distance Education


  • Course Times + Location:


  • Exam Times + Location:

    Feb 15, 2023
    Wed, 7:00–8:50 p.m.

    Apr 5, 2023
    Wed, 7:00–8:50 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Katherine Watson
    Office Hours: By appointment via Zoom
  • Prerequisites:

    SA 101 or 150.



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.


This course will provide an introduction to thinking about, reading, understanding, evaluating, and presenting statistical analyses of data on anthropological and sociological topics.

This is NOT a mathematics course. The focus of the course is on selecting, applying, and interpreting statistical techniques for data analyses.


  1. To familiarize you with higher order critical and creative thinking skills associated with (deductive) research—understanding how to pose a research question, knowing how to manage data sets, and being able to apply quantitative techniques to this data.
  2. To familiarize you with the social uses of numbers and quantitative claims in sociological and anthropological research
  3. To familiarize you with some of the commands associated with SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences)—a software program used for the purposes of quantitative analysis in the social sciences.


  • 9 SPSS Labs 20%
  • Assignment 30%
  • Midterm 1 25%
  • Midterm 2 25%


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 Honesty and Student Conduct Policies: The Department of Sociology & Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T20.01), and academic honesty and student conduct procedures (S10‐S10.05). 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.

The Sociology and Anthropology Student Union, SASU, is a governing body of students who are engaged with the department and want to build the SA community. Get involved!  Follow Facebook and Instagram pages or visit our website.



You will use the IBM SPSS Statistics software program (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences), the Base Grad Pack 27 for Mac/Windows version.

SFU has made SPSS available to students for free! (Pending Spring approval)


Frankfort-Nachmias, C., Leon-Guerrero, A., and Davis, G. (2021) Essentials of Social Statistics for a Diverse Society, (4th ed.). Sage Publications. 


Several other readings will be required and made available on Canvas for students.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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