Guide to Sociology 2211
Bryerton is the Teaching Assistant this semester (Spring '13). You
can contact him at
email@example.com or (847) 525-2283 to arrange a meeting time.
- The Spring
2013 Baton Rouge Survey
- The Spring
2012 Baton Rouge Survey
- Data Set (weighted): here
- Preliminary, unweighted Results: here
in Development (old): here
- Slides for
student reports: here
- Mayor Holden
Visits the Class and Receives a Report here
- The Spring
2011 Baton Rouge Survey
- Data Set: here
- Results here (weighted
Questionnaire: here (Q. 3 edited, here)
Questionnaire - to print out: here (Q. 3 edited, here)
in Development: here
- Slides for
student reports: here (pdf)
- Mayor Holden
Visits the Class and Receives a Report here
- Map of Baton
Rouge, showing sections of town, here
Years - here
- due dates
(watch this section for
- Initial class requirement: complete the Human Subjects Protection Training at the NIH website. Go to http://phrp.nihtraining.com/users/login.php, take the training, and obtain a certificate of completion. You’ll have to create an account there if you don't have one. Then you’ll need to print out the certificate of completion, or save it as a file that you can print out. This is a class requirement necessary to pass the class. The LSU Institutional Review Board (IRB) is requiring this of us. We cannot do our class project until all of us obtain this certificate. See the assignment below for more information about the LSU IRB.
- This assignment is due at the end of the second full week of the semester.
- If you already have a certificate of completion, you don't have to do it again, but you'll need to give me a copy of your certificate.
- Note that it may take you 3 hours to complete this training, so pls plan ahead!
- At the LSU IRB website, here, it states, "LSU requires that all researchers (students and faculty) complete the NIH on-line human subjects training. It takes about 3 hours to complete the course. Upon successfully completing the course, you will receive an electronic certificate. ...No IRB applications will be approved until all of the researchers' certificates are obtained." We must comply with this.
- Jan 23: Go to the
U.S. Census website, especially the "Quick Facts" section (see links below). Compare the economic level of Baton Rouge (city) to
a rich place and a poor place, and look for two or three possible
reasons for the differences. Look through the Quick Facts
tables till you find some statistics you think are good indicators
of economic level and the other factors you are looking for. List
the results side by side by making a table with the places down the
side (rows) and the variables you've chosen along the top (columns). A
spreadsheet program will make a nice table for you. Here are
some places to try comparisons for:
- Rich places: Marin
(County), CA; Fairfax (County), VA; Darien (city), CT;
Scarsdale (village), NY; Lake Forest (city), IL.
- Poor places: Harlan
(County), KY; Tensas (Parish), LA; Mora (County), NM; Shannon
- Note - as of the
beginning of 2012, the Census reorganized its website fairly
- The 2010
decennial census no longer includes facts like income,
education, commute times, and various other things. Most
of these issues are now
on the American Community Survey (ACS).
- The ACS is conducted
every year, rather than every ten years, but because they
ask fewer people, they have to aggregate data over several
years if the place is too small. (see their FAQs for more information.)
- Here are some suggestions
for looking up data. (There are more links on my links page):
- The Census "Quick Facts" (here)
is the easiest place to start.
Click through the prompts to select the geographical
place you want, and you'll get a table with a large variety
- When you get to one of the tables, you can then follow
the links from "Want more? Browse data sets for ... [place]"
just above the table on the right.
- For instance, the table for East Baton Rouge
(parish) is here.
also put a version here,
in case you can't get through to the census website.
- The "American
is the main portal now for getting census information,
but it's not easy to use.
- Try poking around here. This section was always
a little hard to use if you're new at the census
site, and unfortunately, I think they've actually
made it harder to use. Do your best, but you don't
have to use this section.
- You can access zip code areas here, but since they're small in population, they may not give you data.
- Hint: You may need to search on "Topics" one by one. It seems when you select several topics, the site only gives you tables that include all those topics in them (the "intersection" in Venn diagram terms). This makes it very cumbersome.
- The 2010
Census page (here)
is not hard to use, but as noted above, it only gives
very limited information about each place. I don't
recommend using it for this assignment.
- Several other
section of the census site work shockingly badly, I find.
the following assignments, please turn in your SPSS output
along with the exercise page from Healey. Abbreviations
for the following assignments: RR=Research Report; IP=Independent
Project; CA=Comparative Analysis]
- Jan 30: Turn in
five survey questions that you find in the GSS (esp here)
or NES that
might be usable for your group's module for the Baton Rouge survey. [Also
see my links page.] Also,
you can draw questions from our post-Katrina Survey (start page is here)
or from the post-Katrina polls on PollingReport.
Each group will discuss their questions and choose two of them for
the group. Important: Print out the exact question text
from the web, including the exact answer categories, and include
the exact question mnemonic (the funny abbreviated question name)
from the GSS, and/or the table number from the NES, so that we can
- Feb 1: Turn in
2 of the following Exercises in Healey, Chap. 4 Religiosity - RR4.1,
IP4.1, IP4.2, CA 4.1
- Feb 6:
Turn in five survey questions that you find on the web or elsewhere
GSS or the NES) that might be usable for your group's module for
the Baton Rouge survey. See the
box of links, below. Again,
you can draw questions from our post-Katrina Survey (start page
links in the box below). Consider replicating questions used in previous
Baton Rouge surveys to check for time trends. Important:
Print out the exact question text from the web, including the exact
answer categories, and include the exact web address (url), so
that we can make sure to replicate the questions correctly. Include
whatever percentaged results you find for the whole population
(sub-population breakdowns optional). Coordinate this within
your group so that each person searches a different location. Hint:
use the leads to data sources listed in the box below, on my links
page, plus the "Polls" articles in Public Opinion Quarterly and
JStore linked above. Or search LexisNexis
Academic for questions stored in the Roper Center Archive. (You
can also access LexisNexis through the LSU
library page. If you're off-campus, you'll need to have
an access code to search the database: consult a librarian.) ...Or
if you don't find a question you want to replicate, write your
Links for survey questions on topics
our Baton Rouge survey
You will have to
register at the Gallup site to access their
Registration is free.
See Gallup's "Topics
and Civil Liberties
Rouge surveys by LSU Sociology:
New Orleans surveys by
- Questionnaire here
linked from this page
- Feb 8: Turn in
2 of the following Exercises in Healey, Chap. 5 Attitudes toward
- RR5.2, IP5.1, CA5.2
- Feb 15: Extra credit quiz -
Read the brochures about surveys at the American Statistical Association, here (also
linked near the top of this page). We'll have a simple quiz
on what the brochures say.
- Feb 22:
[Note date change!] We will have a visitor from the Mayor's office today. Our goal
is to discuss
the work of the Mayor's office with him/her, and discuss
what survey questions would be valuable for them.
- You should take notes
of our discussion. You will use your notes
to develop our next round of survey questions, which the
Mayor's office can use in better understanding the community.
- You will use your
notes to develop your next round of 5 survey questions.
- Aim to keep your
questions concrete, rather than abstract; and make sure your
questions are clear and not ambiguous.
- Next meeting, we will
again break into groups, and each group will discuss their questions
and choose two of them for the group.
- Feb 22: Turn in
2 of the following Exercises in Healey, Chap. 7 Crime - RR7.4, IP7.1,
IP7.2, IP7.3, CA7.1
In addition to the 5 questions from the Feb 6 assignment, bring
5 additional questions
that we can use to address the interests of the Mayor's office. Use
the issues that the Mayor's aide mentioned in class
on Feb 20. Remember that part of
your job is to operationalize these issues or concepts into
survey questions that respondents are able to answer. Survey respondents
know a lot of technical information or detailed policy information.
But most respondents will have strong feelings about how important
various issues are, and how much (in taxes) they are worth. Make
tap into this emotional aspect of opinions when you draft your survey
- March 1: Turn in
2 of the following Exercises in Healey, Chap. 9 Inequality and gender
- RR9.3, IP9.1, IP9.2, CA9.1, CA9.2, CA9.3
- March 6: Mid-term exam
- March 8: Quiz - Read the LSU Institutional Review Board (IRB) Regulations for Human
Subject Studies, here. Almost
all university research everywhere in America must pass a review
(or get an exemption) to make sure that no one (humans or animals)
is harmed by the research. This is an important ethical issue. We
will be applying for an exemption from IRB review for our class survey. In the first assignment, above, you had to complete the Human Subjects Protection Training at the NIH website (http://phrp.nihtraining.com/users/login.php), and obtain a certificate of completion. Today, we'll have
a quiz on what the LSU IRB materials say, and we'll have a discussion
about what this means for our research. Here are the documents
to look at:
- March 15: Turn in
2 of the following Exercises in Healey, Chap. 10 Inequality and race
- RR10.3, RR10.4, IP10.1, IP10.2, IP10.3, CA10.1, CA10.2
- March 15:
Sign-up sheets will be available in class beginning today for time
slots at the CATI terminals in our lab room, 102 Stubbs. Interviewing
will begin Monday, March 18. You are required to complete 12 interviews,
and you can do additional interviews for extra credit.
- March 15: Attendance
Important: Training at the CATI terminals for interviewing. Please
print out one copy of the questionnaire and bring it with you
- In-class quiz:
Read about Marketing Systems Group GENESYS Sampling Systems
(this is the firm that is drawing our sample), especially their RDD
Samples( Random Digit Dialing Samples) and their GENESYS-IDplus system,
which we'll be using. [Note:
The Genesys website may be temporarily down or under construction.
They sent me this to
use as a temporary webpage that should contain most of the
same information.] Be prepared to summarize the basic steps
they take in preparing a list of telephone numbers for us
to use. Don't worry about mathematical formulas or
small details; just understand the basic steps.
- March 18: Optional Extra Credit Assignment: Proofread our draft survey online. An extra-credit point if you find errors. One more extra credit point if you're the first to find errors nobody else has found!. ... Compare this with this.
- March 18: Interviewing
begins (5-9pm). Make
sure to sign up for time slots at the CATI
terminals. Sign-up sheets will be available in class beginning
Friday, March 15.
- March 22: Turn
in 2 of the following Exercises in Healey, Chap. 11 The Family -
RR11.5, IP11.1, IP11.2, IP11.3, IP11.4, CA11.1
- March 22:
First 6 interviews to be completed by today.
- March 27: Turn
in 2 of the following Exercises in Healey, Chap. 12 Voting - RR12.3,
RR12.4, IP12.1, IP12.3, IP12.4, IP12.5, CA12.1, CA12.2
- March 28: Second 6 interviews to be completed by this evening (This is a Thursday: interviewing, but no class. We don't have class on Friday, 3/29 because Spring Break begins).
- March 29: Optional Extra Credit: Data entry to Survey Monkey. We don't have regular class this Friday, because Spring Break begins, but you can get 2 extra credit points for coming during our regular class time, 10:30-11:30 today. We'll have Wednesday's and Thursday's interviewing to enter. If we can get this done today, our data set will be ready to use when we return from Spring Break. This is an optional assignment, but you can get 2 extra points for coming today, plus the regular points for each questionnaire you enter.
five hypotheses to test using our new Baton Rouge survey. State
briefly what causal relationship you expect to find in the data
and why (e.g., women are more likely than men to say there
is a neighborhood they would be afraid to walk in after dark
because they feel less able to defend themselves). These
will probably form the core of your report, which will be due
- April: We will be
analyzing the results of our Baton Rouge survey. You will develop
a set of interrelated hypotheses, analyze the data, and write a report.
The instructors will help you do this work in class. In addition,
we will have a visitor, with whom we'll discuss our findings, and
you can give reports for extra credit. Since the visitor will be
very knowledgable in the topics we research, our discussions should
be very informative for all of us.
29: Note Date Change: Mayor
- May 3: Turn in your
report, based on your analysis of our Baton Rouge survey. The
reports should be about 5-10 pages, plus supporting output of data
analysis (tables, graphs, etc.). The reports should cover 5
or more connected hypotheses which, together, give a causal picture
- or tell a story - of the situation you are investigating. You
should back up your analysis of Baton Rouge data with comparative
data from the rest of the U.S., from the South or other regions,
and/or from other countries, and you should take trend data into
account if available. You should also take Baton Rouge Census
data into account, if relevant. Part of your analysis should discuss
why Baton Rouge is the same or different from these comparisons. You
should also discuss what questions your analysis raises that can't
be answered with the available data, and you should suggest what
new data would be desirable to answer these open questions, and what
sort of study design would be appropriate to acquire these new data. An
outline of the sections of a good report is given here. You
can use the reports from the workbook as a guide in developing your
report. The instructors will help you develop the report in
class in the weeks leading up to the due date. Examples of
reports from previous years are here.
- Note: Please turn in a paper and an electronic version of your final report. You should attach the electronic version of your final report in an email to Will Bryerton. This should include both the text of your paper, and also SPSS tables you are describing. If you need technical help with this, pls make sure to contact us ahead of time.
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