This course covers the fundamentals of sociological research design. Emphasis is placed on principles that are applicable in all kinds of sociological research, including surveys, participant observation, comparative historical study, interviews, and quantitative analysis of existing data. The course also delves into current methodological controversies in several arenas.
Social movements and revolution have long been driving forces behind political, social, and cultural change. From the Civil Rights movement of the 60s to the recent and unpredicted "Arab Spring," the extraordinary mobilization of ordinary people is routinely credited with fundamentally re-shaping societal institutions--the polity, the economy, religion, gender, race, and even the environment. But can we really define and study something as ephemeral as social mobilization? Do we know how social movements begin? Why might they become revolutionary?
Why are some societies wealthier, healthier, and more highly educated than others? And how might we improve the lives of those individuals with the fewest opportunities? The purpose of this course is to investigate whether and how scholarly theories of development map onto the real world practices of development organizations (state development offices, intergovernmental agencies, not-for-profit organizations) and vice versa.