Syllabus: Undergraduates

You can download the syllabus for undergraduates here: syllabus_undergraduates_july_30_2008_modified

Syllabus: Undergraduate Students

2008

 
697 Study at a Foreign Institution (12 Credit Hours)

Central and Eastern Europe in Comparative Perspective: Assessing Social and Political Change

Summer 2008

As part of this course, students will engage in (a) four weeks of intensive training and research in Warsaw, Poland (July 3rd – July 31st 2008), and (b) individual Internet/personal consultations with the instructor upon their return to OSU (August 8th – August 18th). 

Instructors:               Kazimierz M. Slomczynski, Irina Tomescu-Dubrow and Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow

Office Hours:            Tuesday & Thursday 1:30-3:30

Email:                         slomczynski.1@sociology.osu.edu, tomescu.1@sociology.osu.edu, dubrow.2@osu.edu

Voice messages:        (614) 292-8078

Mailbox:                     301 Bricker Hall  

Time & Location:     Lecture: 10:00 –10:45, Palac Staszica, Room 154

                                   Computer Lab: 11:00 – 12:30, Palac Staszica, Room 201

                                   Seminars: 14:30 – 16:00, Palac Staszica, Room 154  

Computer Room (internet access): Rooms 122/124, 200a, 201 

Goals 

This course is designed to achieve two objectives. First, it aims at teaching students how to employ quantitative methods in sociology to get an in-depth understanding of social and political change in Central and Eastern Europe. Relying on the Polish Panel Survey 1988-2003 (POLPAN), you will learn how to apply basic concepts in statistics to substantive problems of the post-communist transformation in Poland using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). By the end of the course, you will know:  

– How to use SPSS for data analysis;

– How to describe variables (distribution shapes, central tendencies, range and dispersions of single variable);

– How to assess relationships between variables (cross-tabulation, correlation, linear regression, comparisons of summary statistics across groups);

– How to interpret research findings (samples and populations, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, understanding “statistical significance”). 

The second objective of the course is to give students a comprehensive understanding of the research strategies and empirical findings pertaining to the political, economic and cultural systems of Central and East European societies.  As part of the training, you will learn how to develop your own research paper on a substantive issue of your choice dealing with the post-communist transformation.  

 Topics 

1) Methodological:

The Nature of Social Research; Descriptive Statistics: Measures of Central Tendency and Variability; Probability Distributions; Samples and Populations; Statistical Inference: Testing Differences Between Means; Comparing Groups: Analysis of Variance Comparisons of Two Groups; Correlation and Linear Regression; Introduction to Multivariate Relationships; Advanced Topics. 

 

2) Substantive:

Historical Context of Central and East European Socialism; Social and Political Change after 1989: from Where to Where; Class Divisions and Structured Inequality; Stratification; Voting Behavior, Democracy and Democratic Values; Institutional Attitudes related to Politics, the State, and the Catholic Church.

Required Readings 

Jack Levin and James Alan Fox Elementary Statistics in Social Research, 10th ed. (Pearson, Allyn and Bacon, 2006) ISBN 0-205-45958-7.   

Course Package: A special packet will be prepared and distributed using materials from various U.S. and Polish sources.  Example of these sources include: Gale Stokes, ed., From Stalinism to Pluralism:  A Documentary History of Eastern Europe since 1945, Oxford University Press, 1991; M. F. Goldman, Russia, the Eurasian Republics, and Central/Eastern Europe. Dushkin Publishing Group, 1992-2004 (5th and later editions); Ch. G. A. Bryant and E. Mokrzycki, eds. The New Great Transformation? Change and Continuity in East-Central Europe (Routledge, 1994); J. R. Kluegel, D. S. Mason, and B. Wegener, eds., Social Justice and Political Change: Public Opinion in Capitalist and Post-Communist States (De Gruyter, 1995); K. M. Slomczynski, ed., Social Patterns of Being Political (IFiS, 2000); K. M. Slomczynski, ed., Social Structure: Changes and Linkages (IFiS, 2002). K. M. Slomczynski and S.T. Marquart-Pyatt, eds., Continuity and Change in Social Life (IFiS, 2007). 

Course Requirements

Class participationStudents have to be prepared to discuss the assigned readings on their due date, and to actively participate in class discussions during lecture, as well as during recitation.    

Three Assignments: Assignments will be distributed throughout the course, and will include a combination of problem solving (hand and computer calculations) and interpretation of the results.  Your assignments will correspond to the choice of your variables for the topic of interest that you would further develop into the term paper.  You need to turn them in on the due date, at the beginning of recitation. While studying with another student is permitted and even encouraged, you need to write the answers in your own words.  

Exam: In-class examination at the end of the Study abroad course, requiring solving of a set of practical problems using SPSS on the POLPAN data. You will have to run basic analyses covered during the course, print the output, and briefly interpret your statistical results.  

Research Paper: The preparation of the research paper is a two-stage stage process. During your stay in Warsaw you will identify the problem of your interest, the basic literature on this topic, the corresponding Dependent and Independent Variables in the POLPAN data set, and perform the initial analyses applying the learned methodology. A first version of your paper needs to be turned in on Tuesday, July 29 2008. Instructors will comment on your work, and help you with developing the plan for the final version of the paper. 

You need to complete the final version of your term paper no later than August 20th 2008 (last day of classes for the 2007/2008 Summer quarter at OSU, main campus), and send it in electronically to slomczynski.1@sociology.osu.edu.

 

Grades

Grades will be based: 10% on class participation, 30% on the assignments, 20% on the exam, and 30% on the term paper (10% for the first version; 20% for the final version).

Grading points

   A     94-100

  B+  87-89

  C+ 77-79

  D+ 65-69

  F   59-0

  A-    90-93

  B    84-86

  C 74-76

  D 60-64

 

 

  B- 80-83

  C- 70-73

 

 

 
Class Policies 

Attendance is mandatory for lecture, seminars, and recitation sessions. 10% of your grade is made up of attendance and class participation.  You are responsible for all announcements made, handouts distributed, and material discussed during lectures, seminars, and recitations.   

Exam Make-Ups: Except for extreme circumstances, there will be no make-up for the assignments and/or exam. If you miss the exam for a legitimate reason (documented) there will be a chance to make up the missed credit.    no later than August 20th 2008 (last day of classes for the 2007/2008 Summer quarter at OSU, main campus). 

Academic Misconduct: The University’s Code of Student Conduct defines academic misconduct as “[a]ny activity that tends to compromise the academic integrity of the University, or subvert the educational process.” While many people associate academic misconduct with only “cheating,” academic misconduct actually includes a wider scope of student behaviors, which include (but are not limited to): violation of program or course rules and regulations; knowingly providing or receiving information during an exam (this includes providing information on exam questions for make-ups); possession and/or use of unauthorized materials during an exam; submitting plagiarized work for a course assignment; falsification, fabrication, or dishonesty in reporting laboratory (research) results; serving as or asking another student to serve as a substitute (a ‘ringer’) while taking an exam; alteration of grades in an effort to change earned credit or a grade; and alteration and/or unauthorized use of University forms.


Course Outline

The dates that are provided here are tentative and could change depending on how this class proceeds.  Any changes in dates, including changes in exam dates will be announced in class.  You are responsible for finding out about any announcements made in class and recitation.  Please read the assigned readings before the lecture in which they will be discussed. 

July 2, Wednesday:  

6:00 – 17:00 –  Arrival (You will be met at the airport; transport to the Hotel Hera; short organizational meeting with Summer School organizers)   

July 3,Thursday: 

11:00 – 12:00  – Introductory meeting.

12:15 – 13:30 Lunch (PANKLUB) 

14:00 – 15:15 – Opening of the conference Sociological Surveys of Public Opinion in Central and Eastern Europe (Room 200)

19:00 Dinner

July 4, Friday: 

10:00 – 12:30 Sociological Surveys of Public Opinion in Central and Eastern Europe: Polish Panel Survey, POLPAN, 1988-2008 (Room 200)

 

July 5, Saturday: 10:00 – 16:00 – Tour of Warsaw. Cultural Activities. 

July 6, Sunday: 10:00 – 18:30 – Visit to the city of Kazimierz 

 

July 7, Monday: 

10:00 – 11:15 – Lecture & Discussion: Populations and Samples, Variables and their Values, Organizing the Data

11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab 

14:30 – 16:00 – Historical Context of Central and East European Communism 

July 8, Tuesday: 

10:00 – 11:15 – Lecture & Discussion: Measures of Central Tendency and Variability

11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab 

14:30 – 16:00 – Visit to the European Union Office in Warsaw

19:00 Dinner  
 
July 9, Wednesday: 

10:00 – 11:15 – Lecture & Discussion: Testing Differences between Means.  Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)

11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab 

14:30 – 16:00 – Social and Political Change after 1989: from Where to Where 

July 10, Thursday: 

10:00 – 11:15 – Lecture & Discussion: Contingency Tables

11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab; Assignment no. 1 due.  

14:30 – 16:00 – Class Divisions and Structured Inequality 

 

July 11, Friday (departure time, Warsaw Main Train Station 12:00 PM) – July 13, Sunday (departure time, Krakow train station: 16:45 (4:45 PM).  Visit to the city of Krakow 

 

July 14, Monday: 

10:00 – 11:15 – Lecture & Discussion: Correlation and Regression, I

11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab 

14:30 – 16:00 – Institutional Attitudes related to Politics, the State, and the Catholic Church 

July 15, Tuesday: 

10:00 – 11:15 – Lecture & Discussion: Correlation and Regression, II

11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab

12:45 – 13:30 Lunch 

*14:30 – 16:00 – Visit to NGOs, and/or to the University of Warsaw. International Conference on Eastern Europe 

July 16, Wednesday: 

10:00 – 11:15 – Lecture & Discussion: Correlation and Regression, II

11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab 

*13:00 – 18:00 – Visit to the University of Warsaw.  International Conference on Eastern Europe 

July 17, Thursday: 

10:00 – 11:15 – Lecture & Discussion: Correlation and Regression, III

11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab 

14:30 – 16:00 – Guest Lecture: Crime and Society (Dr. Anna Kiersztyn)

July 18, Friday: 

10:00 – 11:15 – Individual Consultations

11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab; Assignment no. 2 due.  

14:30 – 16:00 – Guest Lecture: Professor Krzysztof Zagorski “Change in the Meritocratic Allocation of Goods in Poland”   More information on his “Inversely Proportional Index of Wealth” (IPIW) can be found in the following citation:  Zagorski, Krzysztof.  2005.  “Lifecycle Objective and Subjective Living Standards and Life Status: New Indexes Building and Applications, Poland 1992 – 2004” in Excellence in International Research, edited by Deborah Fellows.  Esomar: Amsterdam.

July 19, Saturday: Free time 

July 20, Sunday: 10:30-19:00 – Trip to the city of Lodz  

 

July 21, Monday: 

10:00 – 11:15 – Lecture & Discussion: Advanced Statistical Analysis, I

11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab 

*14:30 – 16:00 – Meeting authors of the POLPAN study 

July 22, Tuesday: 

10:00 – 11:15 – Lecture & Discussion: Advanced Statistical Analysis, II

11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab

13:00 – 13:30 Lunch 

*14:30 – 16:00 – Visit to NGOs. 

July 23, Wednesday: 

10:00 – 11:15 – Individual Consultations

11:30 – 12:45 – Lecture by Michal Bojanowski

14:30 – 16:00 – Democracy and Democratic Values 

July 24, Thursday: 

10:00 – 11:15 – Lecture & Discussion: Correlation and Regression, III

11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab 

*14:30 – 16:00 – Working on Individual Projects and Assignments 

July 25, Friday: 

10:00 – 11:15 – Lecture by Professor Henryk Domanski

11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab; Assignment no. 3 due.

14:30 – 16:00 – Discussion of Individual Projects 

 

July 26, Saturday: Free time 

July 27, Sunday: Free time 

 

July 28, Monday: 

10:00 – 11:15 – Quantitative Methods in Sociology: A Summary

11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab 

*14:30 – 16:00 – Meeting with OSCE’s Human Rights division

July 29, Tuesday: 

10:00 – 11:15 – Exam

12:30 – 13:30 – Lecture by Professor Krystyna Janicka

19:00 – Dinner 

July 30, Wednesday: 

11:00 – 12:30 – Summary Session.

 

August 19, Tuesday, by 4 PM: Final Paper due, via email to Slomczynski.1@sociology.osu.edu

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