Disclaimer

SOCIOLOGY 371: THEORY CONSTRUCTION AND RESEARCH DESIGN

About This Course:

Dr. Michael R. Leming, Professor of Sociology
Office: Holland Hall 401E Phone: 646-3134
Office Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 9:35-11:00 AM
Fall 1997 Semester, 1997

Class Related Links

---------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------------
Course Assignments (Syllabus) Beginning Lecture
Discussion Questions Library - Research Proposal
Research Techniques Sociological Theory
WEBSITES Operationalization



The Sociology and Anthropology Department believes that this course is one of the most important courses in the curriculum. Sociology 371 372, and 373 are really the courses which provide you with the "tools" of sociology, anthropology, and social work. They are classes designed for the serious social science student and will require a great deal of effort on the part of each student. Despite the intense work involved, the courses have consistently proven to be valuable "learning experiences" in the careers of sociologists, anthropologists, and social worker.

Course Goals:

1. The student will acquire basic knowledge of research methods and theory construction so he or she can systematically study the social world.

2. The student will be able to design and conduct his or her own research project.

3. The student will learn to critique social science research.

4. The student will become familiar with the basic methodological and ethical issues current in the social sciences.

5. The student will survive the course and its requirements.

The Classroom:

The class will consist of lectures and some group discussions. Class attendance and participation is vital to your success in this class. Therefore, absences will be penalized one letter grade for each absence above three (eg., if you earned an A and missed four classes, you would receive a grade of A-). Furthermore, you are expected to keep current with the assigned readings and participate in class discussions. If you are unprepared for class, you may be asked to leave the class for the day and you will not be counted as present. Your oral classroom contributions will enter into your final grade!

I will be more than happy to meet with students concerning course requirements, provide assistance on assignments, clarify lectures or assigned readings, and chat about careers in sociology and social work and other issues tangentially related to the educational aspects of this course.
Grades:

Grades will be based on the three exams, the research project, and class attendance. The required texts are: The Anthropological Lens and The Practice of Social Research. The exams will consist of some essay and some objective questions. Make-up exams will only be given for official college excused absences (see the Dean of Students).

The major project can be a either a solo or group effort. This is the beginning of the year-long research project which will reach its end point in May, 1998. This semester your are responsible for formulating a research hypothesis (or hypotheses), conducting an extensive literature review, and proposing a methodology to test the hypothesis. If you choose to work in a group, I will issue a group grade for each paper because I want this project to be truly a group endeavor. I will not mediate should group disputes arise.

This is a lengthy task, and I expect an end product from each individual or group consisting of one paper which will be approximately 30 pages in length plus a bibliography and appendices. This paper must be typed using one of the text editing programs available on campus (preferably Microsoft Word or Word Perfect). For more detailed information on the term project see "PROJECT" handout.

Grades will be assigned in the following manner:

A = 91% B = 81% C = 71% D = 61%
A-= 90% B-= 80% C-= 70% D-= 60%
B+= 89% C+= 79% D+= 69% F = 59%

I am looking forward to working with each of you this semester. As past experience in this course has proven, we will come to know each other quite well over this semester. Do not hesitate to come to me with your questions, problems, and interests. Although this is a difficult and demanding course, I believe you will find it to be one of your most useful courses in your careers in sociology, anthropology, or social work. Welcome to the world of social research.

Assigned Texts:

Peacock -- The Anthropological Lens, Cambridge Press.
Babbie -- The Practice of Social Research, Wadsworth Press.

Go back to Sociology 371 -- Research Methods


If you have any questions or comments please email:

leming@stolaf.edu

Disclaimer