Intro to Sociology

1. Choose an “issue,” such as: drug use, teen pregnancy, alcohol abuse, etc There is a list of issues at the end of this assignment. If you choose to use a different topic, DO NOT use medical research topics (how this drug affects the body, whether pills work, etc) or marketing research topics (what product is bought more frequently, etc). This is not the focus of social research.

Sociologists are not just interested in whether something occurs or not – rather, we look at why or how it occurs (what are the reasons why it occurs or exists). We aim to answer the “so what” factor. EXAMPLE: “teen pregnancy has decreased over the past 10 years”. This doesn’t tell us much. Sociologists want to explore why it happens or what factors play a role in the decrease. There are numerous variables that can be explored here. For example, a better research focus: formal Sex education classes may be useful. Those students who complete at least two semesters of formal sex education classes in high school are less likely to become teen parents (do not use this example).

Design a study of how you would study a sociological issue or problem from a sociological point-of-view (go through the different steps of the scientific method – explaining each step as it pertains to your study). These steps are discussed in your readings.

Discuss your question, the purpose of researching existing sources, your hypothesis (give an actual hypothesis), etc. Identify how you would go about collecting the data (what would be the best data collection method and why), what kind of research design you would use and why, what would be involved in data collection, and how you might analyze and evaluate your results. Discuss each step.

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