Spring 2016 - SA 255 D100

Introduction to Social Research (SA) (4)

Class Number: 1916

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 5 – Apr 11, 2016: Tue, 8:30–10:20 a.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 20, 2016
    Wed, 8:30–11:30 a.m.

  • Instructor:

    Samantha May
  • Prerequisites:

    SA 101 or 150.



An introduction to the conduct of sociological and anthropological research. Topics covered include: the relationship between theory and research, concept formation, operationalization, exploratory studies, hypothesis generation and testing, data collection techniques within both sociology and anthropology, the assessment of causality, the critical evaluation of research on both theoretical and methodological grounds, the definition of research problems, and ethical issues in social research. Quantitative.


How do social scientists know what they know? How do we know this information is reliable? This course provides an introduction to qualitative and quantitative social research methods commonly used in anthropology and sociology, including interviewing, descriptive and inferential statistics, and ethnography, among others. The role and importance of the scientific method will be emphasized as students develop their critical analysis skills and understanding of research design through readings and discussions of articles from the field. Ethics and the placement of the researcher within a research community will also be discussed. Students will have the opportunity to apply classroom concepts in hands-on group assignments.


  • Group Presentation 20%
  • Article Reviews (3 at 5% each) 15%
  • Term Paper (6-8 pages) 25%
  • Midterm Exam 20%
  • Final Exam 20%


Where a final exam is scheduled and you do not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, you will be assigned an 'N' grade. Unless otherwise specified on the course outline, all other graded assignments in this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned.

Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct Policy  
The Department of Sociology and 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: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student.html.



Matt Henn, Mark Weinstein, and Nick Foard, A Critical Introduction to Social Research, Sage Publications, 2009, 2nd Edition.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/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