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4. Imagine a sociological study concluded that a lack of social support in one’s life is a sufficient cause for depression.

The penalty for late assignments without legitimate documentation is 5% a day, including weekends and holidays.

Note: this assignment is meant to be completed independently. While discussion of the assignment material with others can be helpful, sharing answers is strictly forbidden.

BACKGROUND
Assignment 1 is based on some of the major concepts introduced in selected chapters up to Week 7. The main goals of this assignment are:

• To give you a chance to apply your understanding of these concepts.
• To get you to think critically and independently about these concepts.
• To develop your ability to write answers in a clear and concise manner.
• To get you to recognize the relevance of these concepts both within and beyond academic settings.
Chapter 2 – Research Design and the Logic of Causation

1. Babbie and Benaquisto explain that the conflict paradigm can be pursued at either the micro or the macrolevel. Drawing on the conflict paradigm perspective, create a research question that exemplifies a microlevel of analysis, and a research question that exemplifies a macrolevel of analysis. Briefly explain why you consider each respective question to be a macro or microlevel question (4 marks).

2. Please watch the following two video clips found on Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqiWFLsgVi4 Muhammad Ali – Racial Integration (3.28min)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ge7i60GuNRg What Would You Do Bike Theft (White Guy, Black Guy, Pretty Girl) (4.41min)

Please identify which video you think best represents an example of observation based on inductive logic, and which video best represents an example of observation based on deductive logic. Give reasons supporting your answers (6 marks).
Chapter 3 – Ethical Issues for Social Researchers

3. Briefly explain the main ethical problems raised by the scenario below, and explain what should have been done so that the research conforms with ethical guidelines.

A graduate student conducts a field study on the subject of assisted suicide in a country where such practices are illegal. Law enforcement officials who read the study later demand that the student identify the people who participated in the assisted suicides he studied. To avoid prosecution as an accomplice to murder, the student complies and discloses the names of these people. (3 marks)

Chapter 4 – Research Design and the Logic of Causation

4. Imagine a sociological study concluded that a lack of social support in one’s life is a sufficient cause for depression. First, explain how each of the criteria for nomothetic causality would have to apply in order for researchers to draw this conclusion. Second, come up with a reasonable explanation for why the relationship between a lack of social support and depression might be sufficient, but not necessary (8 marks).

5. Look at the data and method sections of the following four articles posted on the Course Materials section of Blackboard:
• The impact of retirement on psychological well-being in Canada
• Socio-demographic Profile of Older Adults with HIV/AIDS: Gender and Sexual Orientation Differences
• Cohort Differences in Tolerance of Homosexuality Attitudinal Change in Canada and the United States, 1981–2000
• College Students’ Attitudes About Lesbians What Difference Does 16 Years Make?
Identify the study design employed in each article, and explain your answer (4 marks).
Chapter 5 – Conceptualization, Operationalization, and Measurement

6. Give an example of how the variable “Income” could be measured at the nominal, ordinal, and ratio level of measurement. For each example, briefly explain why it conforms to the respective level of measurement. (6 marks)

7. Suppose a manager wanted to measure how satisfied employees were at ACME Company:
a. Propose an indicator of employee satisfaction that has face validity. Explain why the indicator you have chosen has face validity (2 marks).
b. Propose an indicator of employee satisfaction that has construct validity. Explain why the indicator you have chosen has construct validity (2 marks).
Chapter 6 – The Logic of Sampling

8. Below is a partial list of sociologists taken from a Guide to Members published by the American Sociological Association (ASA). Using this list of 70 names, you will select a stratified systematic sample of seven names, beginning with a random start. The stratification variable will be gender. Therefore, before you select your sample, please reorganize the list so that all the females on the list appear first, followed by all the males.

Guide to Members published by the American Sociological Association
No. Name Sex Name Sex
1. Lauren Aaronson F 37. Donald Adamchak M
2. Andrew Abbott M 38. Anne Adams F
3. James Abbott M 39. Ben Adams M
4. Kimberly Abbott F 40. Bert Adams M
5. Joan Abbott-Chapman F 41. Darrell Adams M
6. Felix Abdala M 42. Douglas James Adams M
7. Saleha Abedin F 43. Janet Adams F
8. Thomas Abel M 44. Joanne Adams F
9. Anthony Abela M 45. Julia Adams F
10. Ronald Abeles M 46. Laura Adams F
11. Christopher Abells M 47. Michelle Adams F
12. Marjorie Abend-Wein F 48. Randolph Adams M
13. Joel Aberbach M 49. Rebecca Adams F
14. David Aberle M 50. Reed Adams M
15. Pnina Abir-Am F 51. Richard Adams M
16. Joyce Abma F 52. Stacy Adams F
17. Mitchel Abolafia M 53. Christopher Adamson M
18. Jill Abood F 54. Michelle Adato F
19. Mitchell Aboulafia M 55. Lu Ann Aday F
20. Deborah Abowitz F 56. David Aday M
21. Gary Abraham M 57. Michele Adcock F
22. Brant Abrahamson M 58. Donald Addison M
23. Mark Abrahamson M 59. Miriam Adelman F
24. Glen Abrams M 60. Richard Adelman M
25. Paul Abramson M 61. Pamela Adelmann F
26. Jeana Abromeit F 62. Larry Adelmon M
27. Lorien Abroms F 63. Evan Adelson M
28. James Absher M 64. Francis Adeola M
29. Vicki Abt F 65. Maurice Adib M
30. Janet Abu-Lughod F 66. Edward Adlaf M
31. Rikki Abzug F 67. Chaim Adler M
32. Joan Acker F 68. Emily Adler F
33. Alan Acock M 69. Gerald Adler M
34. Kazumi Adachi F 70. Glen Adler M
35. Stephen Adair M
36. Barry Adam M

Reorganized list: (2 marks)

Answer the following questions based on the information in the above list.

a. Identify the sampling frame: (1 mark)
b. Identify the elements in the sample: (1 mark)
c. Report the sampling interval and show your calculation (assuming the list of 70 names is your population size): (1 mark)
d. Report the sampling ratio and show your calculation (assuming the list of 70 names is your population size): (1 mark)
e. Report the random start number you used: (1 mark)
f. Report the list of names selected from the sampling procedure ordered from 1 to 7: (1 mark)
g. Assume that the list of 70 names above is the entire population of ASA members. What is the population parameter (in percent) for each gender? (1 marks)
h. Report the standard error increment (in percent) for the population parameter gender. (1 mark)
i. Based on the population parameter for males in g) and the standard error increment calculated in h), we therefore know that 95 percent of samples would estimate the proportion of males in the population to be as low as ____ percent, and as high as ____ percent. (2 marks)
Chapter 8 – Survey Research

9. The two questionnaire items below have two or more things wrong with them. Identify two defects for each questionnaire item, and rewrite the item to fix the problems you identified.
a) How old were you when you first tried drugs? (4 marks)

( ) Younger than twelve
( ) 12-15
( ) 15-18
( ) 18-21
( ) 21 or older

b) How much money do you make? (4 marks)
$____________
10. The figure below is a return rate graph for a hypothetical mail-in survey. The hypothetical survey asked eligible voters whether they would agree with Rob Ford’s re-election as mayor of the city. Also plotted on the chart is the percentage of respondents answering “No” in each batch of returned surveys. The table of data from which the chart was created is also provided. Please answer the following questions based on the information provided.

Answer
Week Number Returned Percent Returned Cumulative Percent Returned Yes % No %
Week 1 3000 12.00 12.0 90 10
Week 2 2000 8.00 20.0 87 13
Week 3 1700 6.80 26.8 80 20
Week 4 1800 7.20 34.0 45 55
Week 5 800 3.20 37.2 75 25
Week 6 600 2.40 39.6 73 27
Week 7 500 2.00 41.6 70 30
Week 8 700 2.80 44.4 50 50
Week 9 300 1.20 45.6 68 32
Week 10 250 1.00 46.6 65 35
Week 11 100 0.40 47.0 62 38
Week 12 500 2.00 49.0 10 90
Week 13 60 0.24 49.2 8 92
Week 14 50 0.20 49.4 5 95
Week 15 30 0.12 49.6 3 97
Week 16 20 0.08 49.6 2 98
Total 12410 of 25000 questionnaires returned
a) Based on the data and chart, what do you notice about the response rate? (1 mark)
b) Based on the data and chart, how many follow-up mailings do you think there were? Explain your answer (1 mark)
c) Is there any data from the returned surveys above that might be of help in identifying nonresponse bias? If so, explain. (4 marks)
d) At some point in the graph, there seems to be a substantial shift in voter sentiment towards Ford’s re-election. During what time period did this shift in sentiment occur? Suggest what might cause such a dramatic shift in voter sentiment, and its potential use in tracking survey responses. (5 marks)
e) Suppose follow up mailings had not been sent out. Would conclusions about voter sentiment towards Rob Ford have been much different? Explain your answer. (4 marks)

ASSIGNMENT FORMAT AND EXPECTATIONS

• You are not required to use outside sources for this assignment. However, papers that get more marks make a clear effort to go beyond the class material by integrating relevant outside sources (such as any additional research providing insight into the answer). If you do use outside sources, please include a bibliography or list of references, and make an effort to cite them properly.
• You are not required to have an elaborate thesis statement for every answer. But if a question asks you to provide your own argument or explanations, make sure you are clear in the first couple of sentences about the position or point you plan to make.
• If you have any questions or concerns about your assignment, your TA is the first point of contact.
Understanding Assignment Grades

F papers 0-49%
Does not demonstrate an understanding of the concepts, and does not effectively communicate ideas; weak or non-existent demonstration of critical and analytic skills; answers are irrelevant or limited. No attempt to use the literature.

D papers 50-59%
Demonstrates some understanding of the concepts and shows some effort to communicate ideas, but provides weak demonstration of critical and analytic skills; answers and use of literature may be limited and irrelevant in many places.

C papers 60-69%
Demonstrates some understanding of the concepts and shows effort to communicate ideas, but gives a rudimentary analysis. Flawed or incomplete reasoning, explanations, analysis, and use of literature.

B papers 70-79%
Evidence of a grasp of the concepts and their implications for the research process. An effort is made to communicate ideas through clear and convincing language and examples; some evidence of critical capacity and analytic ability; reasonable understanding of relevant issues; answers and the use of literature are for the most part relevant.

A papers 80-100%
Shows a strong grasp of the concepts and their implications for the research process. Communicates ideas through solid, clear, and convincing language and examples; strong evidence of critical capacity and analytic ability; strong understanding of relevant issues; good organization; evidence of extensive knowledge base; goes beyond the class material, such as by incorporating relevant outside research and evidence; answers and the use of literature is entirely relevant
Plus/Minus
The plus/minus portion of the grade will be assigned for writing and style.

Minus
– the organization of the paper could easily be improved
– the paper contains spelling and/or grammar mistakes.

Neutral
– the paper does not contain grammar and/or spelling mistakes
– the organization of the paper is good (clear, easy to follow, etc.)

Plus
– the paper does not contain grammar and/or spelling mistakes
– the organization of the paper is excellent
– varied sentence structure


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