Choose a topic: There are so many things around us that it can be difficult to focus on just one for a research project. Here are a few things to think about to find yours. First, we are in a sociology class, so your topic has to be sociological in nature. Wondering if a new diet helps people lose weight, for instance, wouldn’t work. Instead, think back on some of the topics you covered in other sociology classes (Intro Soc, Marriage and the Family, Soc Theory, etc.). Was there something in there that sparked your interest? You can also build on previous research that you have completed for a former class in the program or closely related field. This project will be the focus of your discussions for the next several weeks. It is highly recommended that you choose something that is of interest to you and can keep your attention for that long.
We will be using General Social Survey (GSS) 2016 data set for Weekly Discussions, Assignment 1 and the Final Project (paper and presentation). You should NOT collect your own data. All variables and data are required to be from GSS 2016 data set. To know more about GSS, you may visit its main website by clicking here. You can find GSS variables online via GSS Data Explorer (https://gssdataexplorer.norc.org/). Make good use of the attachment at the end of the grading rubrics to select relevant variables for your project. ( I have provided the document as an attachment)
The point of the discussion is that other students will ask you questions or make suggestions that may help you define your project better. Your instructor will also interact with each of you individually in this module and the next to help you refine your topic. Which means, remember to check your thread regularly!
As you present your topic in this discussion, think about how you would study it. What is your research question and your theory behind it? Briefly discuss /tell the class what your topic is, phrasing it as a research question. Your research question should preferably be more general and open-ended than a hypothesis. Then, identify variables which you have found in the GSS 2016 dataset. Be sure to identify the variable name AND the question asked in the survey. See screenshots tutorial for more details. Wrap up by explaining why you chose these variables for your project and why you think there is a correlation or a relationship. You are choosing one independent variable and one dependent variable.
Just to Sum it Up::
For your Week 1 “Choose a topic” and please list everything in the following list:
1. Describe what your topic is, phrasing it as a research question.
2. Identify variables (one DV, at least one IV) which you have found in the GSS dataset (see the attachment below).
a. identify variable names; for example, “childs” is a variable name. It stands for “Number of children.”
b. identify the question related to this variable that was asked in the survey (in verbatim). For example, GSS survey question for variable “childs” is as follows (in verbatim):
How many children have you ever had? Please count all that were born alive at any time (including any you had from a previous marriage).
3. Explain why you chose these variables for your project;
4. Explain why you think there is a correlation or a relationship.
Reiteration: we will be using the 2016 data set for our project. All variables in your project HAVE to come from this 2016 data set. The first announcement in the course tells you how to download both the SPSS software and the full 2016 GSS dataset to be uploaded into SPSS.