Category Archives: Uncategorized
Mathematics or “Citizen Statistics”?
Does learning mathematics help to master the statistics necessary to understand the social world we live in? Political scientist Andrew Hacker thinks this is a “math myth” that has led to requirements at the high school level that turns off … Continue reading
A Picture of the Sociology Society at City College in New York
On February 14, 1949, Jackie Robinson spoke to the Sociology Society at City College in New York. It was 31 months after he became the first African American player in modern professional baseball and in the same year that he … Continue reading
Fighting Extreme Poverty
Half a billion people live on less than 75 cents per day. Termed the “ultrapoor,” they often have too few resources to send their children to school or to save any money. What would it take to improve their conditions? … Continue reading
Getting Going to Fight Poverty
Imagine that you are managing a health clinic and need to recruit health workers who not just know their stuff, but are genuinely interested in helping the community. Would you include in your ad the statement, “Job provides great opportunity … Continue reading
Political Polling: Still Viable?
Polling has captured the news as never before during the current presidential primary season. But at the same time that polls are more popular than ever before, their reliability is lower than ever. As you know from Chapter 8 on … Continue reading
Measurement in Health Care and Education: Solution or Problem?
The desire to measure outcomes to monitor performance and improve health care and teaching is more than understandable: It would seem to go without saying for a research methodologist. But there can be too much of a good thing, as … Continue reading
The Significance of Touch
We live in a language-centered culture and so it is no surprise that the methods we use to investigate our social relations focus largely on language. From survey methods to life histories, from content analysis to conversation analysis, we seek … Continue reading
A Mad Rush to Publish
There’s nothing worse for the progress of science than finding that published results were based on outright fraud or overhyped findings. The editors of a site termed Retraction Watch estimate that an average retraction rate of one scientific paper per … Continue reading
Talking Can Be Good for You, but Maybe Not so Much
A common concern about publications in scientific journals, even those with very high standards, is called “the file drawer problem.” The problem is that studies that find something interesting are more likely to be selected for publication than studies that … Continue reading