Spring 2022 - SA 255 D100

Introduction to Social Research (SA) (4)

Class Number: 2701

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 10 – Apr 11, 2022: Tue, 10:30 a.m.–12:20 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.


This course introduces students to designing and practicing social research in virtual and material worlds. Students deploy and refine a number of methods central to the three main paradigms of social research: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods. These include visual methods, ethnography, video-conference interviews, survey research, statistics,  mobile methods, and more. The course entails hands-on experience in adopting diverse methods while performing the fundamental activities of social research: creating good  research questions; choosing good case studies and variables; measuring abstract concepts; reflecting on power relations while advancing decolonization in research; designing  ethical research; collecting, analyzing and presenting data; triangulating qualitative data (e.g. interview data) with statistics (e.g. distributions of income and education for  Vancouver); and evaluating research produced by others. By crossing the qualitative/quantitative divide while conducting independent research projects in face-to-face and online settings, students gain essential skills for understanding and explaining the very nature and complexity of contemporary society. Some collective and self-directed activities may  require physical travel by vehicle, public transit, and feet (as public and personal safety allow).

Course Format
This course is offered in the Blended Learning format. Blended Learning integrates asynchronous online activities and face-to-face (F2F) instruction to offer students increased flexibility for their demanding schedules. Students engage in online activities such as practice quizzes, videocasts, and simulations, and attend face-to-face instruction biweekly (every other week). See Course Schedule below to see the flow of online/face-to-face weeks and topics.

Course Schedule Topic
Week 1 (online) Getting Started
Week 2 (F2F) Qualitative Foundations
Week 3 (online) Cinematic Social Worlds
Week 4 (F2F) Quantitative Foundations
Week 5 (online) Analyzing Variables
Week 6 (F2F) Mixed Methods
Reading Week Reading Week
Week 7 (online) Intersectionality
Week 8 (F2F) Decolonizing Research
Week 9 (online) Ethical Social Research
Week 10 (F2F) Mobile Methods
Week 11 (online) Good Cases
Week 12 (F2F) Finishing Up


  • Participation 20%
  • Methods application assignment I: Qualitative 15%
  • Methods application assignment II: Quantitative 15%
  • Methods application assignment III: Mixed methods 20%
  • Final mixed methods portfolio 30%


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.



All required readings will be available through Canvas, the SFU Library, or online as noted.

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


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 (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.