Our department conducts an annual data collection project known as the Sociological Research Practicum. Each year, a faculty member is chosen as the Principal Investigator (PI) to design and manage the data project.
One goal of the project is to give first-year graduate students hands-on experience with data collection and analysis under close faculty supervision. Observing and participating in the research process allows our students to develop their skills as empirical researchers.
The type of method used to collect data varies each year, reflecting the interest of the PI. Our students may collect in-depth interviews, record field notes, or survey a random sample of people. Undergraduates may also participate at the discretion of the PI. Typically, undergraduates help with some aspect of data collection or coding of data.
The topic of SRP also varies each year. Recent projects have collected data on attitudes toward the family, consumption and happiness, the experiences of college students on the autism spectrum, conflict, and parental decision-making.