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SOCI 200A: Methods of Social Research I


This core graduate course-sequence deepens and extends seminar participants’ understanding of the theories and practice of social inquiry and sociological research methods. It provides the necessary analytical skills to evaluate different approaches in social inquiry and to design and complete a sociological research study. Emphasis is given to quantitative surveys, semi-structured interviews, discourse analysis, and historical methods.

SOCI 200A will examine important assumptions that underpin social research and the major debates involving, for instance, the logic of social inquiry including feminist methodologies, research design, ethics, reflexivity (self-awareness), power in research, validity and reliability, and data collection techniques. It will be organized around the formulation of a research question and research design, conceptualization and measurement, sampling, causality, and the collection of varying types of data.

Required Books

Alford, Robert R. 1998. The Craft of Inquiry: Theories, Methods, Evidence. New York: Oxford University Press.

Buckingham, Alan and Peter Saunders. 2004. The Survey Methods Workbook: From Design to Analysis. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

Silverman, David. 2010. Doing Qualitative Research: A Practical Handbook, 3rd ed. London: SAGE.