Syllabus 2012


697 Study at a Foreign Institution (10 Semester Credit Hours)

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

5th Edition, Summer 2012

As part of this course, students will engage in (a) four weeks of intensive training and research in Warsaw, Poland (June 13 – July 14, 2012), and (b) individual Internet/personal consultations with the instructors upon their return to OSU (August).

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

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


Voice messages:
Warsaw: (22) 657 2755
Columbus: (614) 292-8078

Warsaw: Palac Staszica, Room 211
Columbus: 238 Townshend

Time & Location:
Lecture: 10:00 –11:10, Palac Staszica, Room 164
Computer Lab: 11:30 – 12:45, Palac Staszica, Room 122/24
Seminars: 14:30 – 16:00, Palac Staszica, Room 164

Computer Room (internet access): 124, 201

This course is designed to achieve two objectives. First, it aims at teaching students how to employ quantitative methods in social sciences 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 STATA. By the end of the course, you will know:

– How to use STATA 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.

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; Crime and Society; Ethnic Minorities in CEE – The Roma.
Required Readings
Levin, Jack and James Alan Fox. Elementary Statistics in Social Research. The Essentials (2nd or 3rd Edition) – hereafter, ESSR

Course Package:

Readings 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 participation: Students 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.

Essay: To assess students’ knowledge of Central and Eastern Europe, students are required to write a short essay (min. 3- max. 5 pages, typed, double-spaced) that is grounded in lectures and readings on the social, political and cultural history of CEE between 1939 and 2012. Guidelines for the essay will be distributed during the Summer School. The essay is due on Thursday, July 12, 2012.

Exam: In-class examination at the end of the Study abroad course. The exam consists of a combination of (a) multiple choice questions; (b) short answer questions, and (c) interpretation of statistical results from software output.

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 (hypotheses and analyses) needs to be turned in on Friday, July 13, 2012. 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 8, 2012 (Final examinations for 2012 Summer semester at OSU, main campus), and send it in electronically to

Grades will be based: 10% on class participation, 30% on the assignments, 10% on the essay, 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
A- 90-93
B+ 87-89
B  84-86
B- 80-83
C+ 77-79
C  74-76
C- 70-73
D+ 65-69
D  60-64
E (Failure)   59-0

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.

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.

June 13, Wednesday: 8:00 – 15:00 – Arrival You will be met at the airport; transport to the Hotel Hera.
17:00 – Orientation Meeting, in Hera (Meeting Place: Lobby Hera)

June 14 Thursday: 10:00 – 11:10 – Lecture & Discussion: Populations and Samples, Variables and their
Values, Organizing the Data Room 164
READINGS: ESSR, Organizing the Data
11:30 – 12:30 – Computer Lab Room 122
12:30 – 13:45 – Lunch. Place TBA
14:00 – 15:15 – World War Two and the Introduction of Communism in CEE Room 164
15:30 – 16:30 – Practical Orientation

June 15, Friday: 10:00 – 10:30 – Polish Panel Survey, POLPAN 1988-2008
10:30 – 11:15 – Lecture & Discussion: Measures of Central Tendency
READINGS: ESSR, Measures of Central Tendency
11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab
14:00 – Visit to the Warsaw Uprising Museum (Meeting Place: Entry Hall, IFiS)

June 16, Saturday: 10:30 – approx. 16:30 – Tour of Warsaw (Meeting Place: Lobby Hera)

June 17, Sunday: Free time
19:00 – Dinner. Meeting at 18:40 in Hera Lobby

June 18, Monday: 10:00 – 11:10 – Lecture & Discussion: Measures of Variability
READINGS: ESSR, Measures of Variability
11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab
14:30 – 16:00 – Lecture: Life under Communism, 1945 – 1989

June 19, Tuesday: 10:00 – 11:10 – Lecture & Discussion: Probability Distributions
READINGS: ESSR, Probability and the Normal Curve
11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab
14:30 – 16:00 – Lecture: Transition from Communism to Post-Communism in CEE

June 20, Wednesday: 10:00 – 11:10 – Statistical Inference, Significance Tests
READINGS: ESSR, Samples and Populations
11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab
*14:00 – 15:00 – Presentation by Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights

June 21, Thursday: 10:00 – 11:10 – Lecture & Discussion: Testing Differences between Means
READINGS: ESSR, Testing Differences between Means;
11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab; Assignment no. 1 due
14:30 – 16:00 – Guest Lecture: Health Issues in CEE (Dr. Malgorzata Mikucka)

June 22, Friday – June 24, Sunday: Trip to Lodz: Symposium – Study Tour

June 22, Friday, meet at 10:30 in the lobby of the Hera Hotel.
Accommodation: Hotel Polonia

June 25, Monday: 10:00 – 13:00 – Individual Consultations
14:30 – 17:30 – Individual Consultations

June 26, Tuesday: 10:00 – 11:10 – Lecture & Discussion: ANOVA
READINGS: ESSR, Analysis of Variance
11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab
*14:30 – 16:00 – Lecture: The Roma in Central and Eastern Europe

June 27, Wednesday: ROOM 154 !!!
10:00 – 11:10 – Lecture & Discussion: Measures of Association; Contingency Tables
11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab;
*13:45 – 15:00 – Visit to the European Union Office in Warsaw (Meeting Place: Entry Hall, IFiS)
16:00 – Working on Individual Projects and Assignments

June 28, Thursday: 10:00 – 11:10 – Lecture & Discussion: Correlation and Regression, I
READINGS: ESSR, Correlation
11:00 –12:45 – Computer Lab; Assignment no. 2 due.
Departure to Krakow – Meet in the Entry Hall of IFiS. Time TBA.

June 28 Thursday- July 1, Sunday: Trip to Krakow (Departure time from Krakow: TBA)
Accommodation: Student Hotel Żaczek

July 2, Monday: Lecture & Discussion: Correlation and Regression, II
READINGS: ESSR, Regression Analysis
11:00 –12:45 – Computer Lab
14:30 – 16:00 – Social and Political Changes in CEE, 1989 to Present

July 3, Tuesday: 10:00 – 11:15 – Lecture & Discussion: Advanced Statistical Analysis, I
11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab
13:00 – 14:15 – Lunch. Place TBA
14:30 – 16:00 – Guest Lecture Dr. Henryk Domanski

July 4, Wednesday: 10:00 – 11:15 – Lecture & Discussion: Advanced Statistical Analysis, II
11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab
14:30 – 16:00 – Individual Consultations

July 5, Thursday: 10:00 – 11:15 – Guest Lecture: Crime and Society (Dr. Anna Kiersztyn)
14:00 – 16:00 – Individual Consultations

July 6, Friday: 10:00 – 12:45 – Individual Consultations
14:30 – 16:00 – Individual Consultations

July 7, Saturday – July 8, Sunday: Free time

July 9, Monday: 10:00 – 11:15 – Quantitative Methods in Sociology: A Summary. Exam Review, Part I
11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab: Exam Review, Part I; Assignment no. 3 due.
14:30 – 16:00 – Lecture in CEE: Dimensions of Social and Political Inequality

July 10, Tuesday: 10:00 – 11:15 – Quantitative Methods in Sociology: A Summary. Exam Review, Part II
11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab: Exam Review, Part II;
14:30 – 16:00 – Working on Individual Projects and Assignments

July 11, Wednesday: 10:00 – 11:15 – Exam
14:30 – 16:30 – Finalizing Individual Projects

July 12, Thursday 10:00 – 12:30 – Finalizing Individual Projects
14:00 – 15:30 – Finalizing Individual Projects; Essay due
18:30 Dinner; Meeting Place TBA

July 13, Friday 10:00 – 12:30 – Finalizing Individual Projects
12:30 – 13:45 – Lunch & Summary Session. Place TBA
First version of Paper due

July 14, Thursday: Departures

August 8, Wednesday, by 6 PM: Final Paper due, via email to