Spring 2019 - SA 255 J100

Introduction to Social Research (SA) (4)

Class Number: 3155

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 3 – Apr 8, 2019: Mon, 5:30–9:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 13, 2019
    Sat, 7:00–10:00 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    SA 101 or 150.



Explores how sociologists and anthropologists investigate social relations and contexts. Students learn to develop research questions and turn them into research projects. Introduces data collection techniques and related ethical issues, the relationship between theory and research, and other fundamental concepts and issues involved in conducting qualitative and quantitative research. Quantitative.


Despite its central role in production of knowledge, the term "research methods" is quite frequently misunderstood and misused by both the general public and academics alike. Sociology and Anthropology 255 is a course where we attempt to resolve the uncertainty surrounding the meanings and applications of research methods; in doing this we attempt to answer the seemingly simple questions, how do we know what we know and how do we go about demonstrating the "truth" of our knowledge? In order to navigate our way to finding answers to these questions, this course has been designed to introduce you to a range of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches to social research and the philosophies that underlie them.

This course will focus on such things as: (a) how we may arrive at a reflexive understanding of our own positions on the nature of truth and knowledge; (b) the development of the skills necessary to become better critical consumers of the wide variety of often competing truth and knowledge claims that we are presented with on a daily basis; (c) the development of the practical skills necessary to construct a realistic and ethically sound research design; and, (d) a consideration of some of the practical issues confronting social researchers who are attempting to apply their knowledge and training within an often fiercely competitive and diverse economic marketplace.


  • Assignments 20%
  • Midterm exam 20%
  • Detailed research proposal 30%
  • Final exam 30%


Grading: 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.    



Palys, T. S. & Atchison, C. (2014). Research Decisions: Quantitative, Qualitative and Mixed Methods Approaches (5th) Canada: Thomson and Nelson.
ISBN: 978-0-176509378


Creswell, J. (2014) Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods Approaches (4th). Toronto: Sage Publications.
ISBN: 978-1-452226101

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