QRMsyllabus-accessible - Quantitative Research Methods Soci...

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Quantitative Research Methods Soci 104/Winter, 2010 1:00 – 4:10 PM DMH 231 Instructor: Dr. James Daniel Lee Office Location: DMH 224 Telephone: (408) 924-5866 Email: james.lee@sjsu.edu Office Hours: Before and after class. Course Description and Goals Catalogue Description: Quantitative research methods including survey research design, hypothesis formulation, questionnaire and interview design, scaling, sampling and data preparation and SPSS analysis. Completion of a class research project plus individual research reports. Prerequisites: Soci 1, Soci 15 or Soci 102, Soci 100W, Soci 101, and upper division standing. Instructor’s Description: This is a course on how to collect and properly evaluate information that sociologists use to make conclusions about how persons interact, organize, and function in social systems. This course will be limited, however, to quantifiable information. (Enroll in Qualitative Research Methods to learn how sociologists collect and evaluate data on qualities of and meanings in interactions, organizations, and social systems.) This course would be fairly simple if sociologists studied simple phenomena. However, we study what is arguably the most complex subject matter there is: human behavior in groups. It is not easy to figure out why people act and think as they do. For example, many factors combine to explain why some people earn $8.00 an hour while others are paid $800.00 an hour. Alternatively, in the natural sciences, very few factors are needed to explain how quickly and where a dropped hammer hits the floor. This course will teach you some skills that one needs to systematically discover the ways the complex social world works. You will be taught how sociologists generate Quantitative Research Methods, Soci 104, Winter 2010 Page 1
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sociological knowledge (the information that students learn in other sociology topics courses). So, for example, when your professors teach you that Americans on average have worse healthcare than those in other wealthy countries, the claim is based on scientific research like that which you will learn about in this course. After completing the course, you should be able to intelligently discuss how sociologists —and others—generate and evaluate new knowledge. You should also be capable of generating sociological knowledge yourself by employing in your own work the techniques we cover. In addition, you should be a critical judge of the knowledge claims that others make, assessing whether their claims are accurate. Put another way, you should be capable of knowing when politicians, preachers, know-it-alls, pseudo-scientists, and journalists are just feeding you a line of bull! Finally, you will have learned skills that will be very attractive to future employers. Required Texts/Readings
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QRMsyllabus-accessible - Quantitative Research Methods Soci...

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