Syllabus 2013

Download the OSU Warsaw Summer School Syllabus 2013 as PDF

697 Study at a Foreign Institution (15 Semester Credit Hours)

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

6th Edition, Summer 2013

The Warsaw Summer School fully integrates training in quantitative research methods for the social sciences (SOC 3549), students’ independent research (SOC 4699), and training in comparative political, economic, and cultural aspects of CEE societies (SOC 5503).   As part of this Program, students will engage in (a) four weeks of intensive training and research in Warsaw, Poland (June 12 – July 12, 2013), and (b) individual research and Internet/personal consultations with the instructors upon their return to OSU (until 31 July).

This is the full, integrated syllabus for all three courses.

SYLLABUS – SOC 3549 and SOC 4699

Instructors:   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
Mailbox:   Warsaw: Palac Staszica, Room 211, Columbus: 238 Townshend

Time & Location:

All rooms are in Palac Staszica

Lecture: 10:00 –11:10, Room 164/154

Computer Lab: 11:30 – 12:45, Room 124

Seminars: 14:30 – 16:00, Room 164 /154

Computer Room (internet access): Rooms 124, 201


Within the integrated package that the Warsaw Summer School offers, the specific learning goals of SOC 5549 and SOC 4699 are:

First, teaching students how to employ quantitative methods in social sciences to get an in-depth understanding of social and political change in CEE. Relying on the Polish Panel Survey 1988-2008 (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 stats 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”).

Second, you will learn how to develop your own research paper on a substantive issue of your choice dealing with the post-communist transformation. As part of independent research you will get a comprehensive understanding of research strategies suitable for comparative analyses, and will work closely with faculty of the Warsaw Summer School while designing and carrying out your own project.

Methodological Topics

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.

Required Readings

Levin, Jack and James Alan Fox. Elementary Statistics in Social Research. The Essentials (2nd or 3rd Edition) – hereafter, ESSR

Optional Readings 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 for SOC 3549 and SOC 4699:

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.

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 TBD. 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 July 31, 2013 (Final examinations for 2013 Summer semester at OSU, main campus), and send it in electronically to


Grades will be based: 15% on class participation, 30% on the assignments, 20% on the exam, and 35% on the term paper (10% for the first version; 25% 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


Instructors for SOC 5503:   Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow and Malgorzata Mikucka
Office Hours:   by appointment
Email: and
Phone:   Warsaw: 48 (22) 657 2755
Mailbox:   Warsaw: Palac Staszica, Room 211, Columbus: 238 Townshend
Times & Locations:   See Course Outline

Description of SOC 5503

Within the integrated package that the Warsaw Summer School offers, the specific learning goals of SOC 5503 are:

a) Provide in-depth knowledge of the history and culture of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE);
b) Enable students to develop their research projects for SOC 4699;
c) Encourage students to extend their learning beyond the classroom environment.

In achieving these learning goals, SOC 5503 embraces the uniqueness of OSU Study Abroad by fully integrating students’ personal experiences in Eastern Europe with the main topics of study. For example, in addition to short lectures and multimedia materials on how World War Two and the Cold War impacted Polish society, you will participate in the interactive Museum of the Warsaw Uprising and visit key WWII and Communist-era places and monuments in three Polish cities (Warsaw, Krakow and Lodz); you will see first-hand Stalinist buildings and the Socialist Realist art adorning them to get a feel of the Communist-era art and architecture; you will engage with businesses and academic and political institutions and their people to make sense of the effects that post-Communism and European Union membership have had on economics, education and politics in CEE generally, and Poland specifically.

Topics of Study

I. Warsaw and Eastern Europe: History, Society and Culture
II. World War Two and the Introduction of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe
III. Life under Communism, 1945 – 1989
IV. Transition from Communism to Post-Communism in CEE
V. Social and Political Changes in CEE, 1989 to Present
VI. Inequalities in CEE (focusing on ethnicity, gender and class)
VII. Special Topics in CEE (Crime; Political Participation)


Class participation (30%): Students are to actively participate in class discussions, expressing their informed opinions.

Essay (40%): Students are required to write a short essay that is grounded in lectures, readings, videos, place visits and personal experiences in CEE. Guidelines for the essay will be distributed during the Summer School.

Treasure Hunt in Three Polish Cities (30%): Students are required to visit places, monuments and other historical treasures in three Polish cities (Warsaw, Lodz and Krakow). As they do, students are required to “collect” them, meaning that they will record their visit and complete an official Treasure Hunt document. More details in class.

Learning Materials

Students will be required to read texts and watch videos on the topics of the course, as well as visits to key places in Warsaw, Lodz and Krakow and attend special guest lectures.

All readings and videos are required, but we will only suggest when they should be read and viewed during the Summer School. Ideally, you would read the texts and watch the videos early on. These readings are necessary for the essay which will be due at the end of the Warsaw portion of the Summer School. Materials that are not available on the course website will be handed-out in class.


To understand the impact of World War Two on Eastern Europe, read select chapters of Applebaum, Anne. 2012. Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe. Double Day: New York. We suggest reading these during the first few days.

— Chapter 5, “Violence,” pp. 88 – 115
— Chapter 6, “Ethnic Cleansing,” pp. 116 – 147

While the whole book is excellent, the following chapters are required in Brown, Archie. 2009. The Rise and Fall of Communism. Vintage: London, that discusses what Communism is, was and why it collapsed in late 20th Century. We suggest reading these during the first week.

— Chapter 1, “The Idea of Communism,” pp. 9 – 26
— Chapter 6, “What Do We Mean by a Communist System?” pp. 101 – 116
— Chapter 7, “The Appeals of Communism,” pp. 117 – 134
— Chapter 28, “Why Did Communism Last So Long?” pp. 574 – 586
— Chapter 29, “What Caused the Collapse of Communism?” pp. 587 – 602

Articles about post-Communism are found in “The Post-Communist Reader,” available in Readings. Ideally, these would be read after reading Applebaum (2012) and Brown (2005), and after watching the video selections from CNN’s Cold War series.


Selections from CNN’s Cold War Series: Comrades, 1917 – 1945; Iron Curtain, 1945 – 1947; Marshall Plan, 1947 – 1952; Reds, 1947 – 1953; After Stalin, 1953 – 1956; The Wall, 1958 – 1963; Red Spring (1960s); Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD); Star Wars, 1981 -1988; The Wall Comes Down, 1989; Popular Music about 1989: Scorpion’s Winds of Change.

Places and Guest Lectures

The following are listed by topic. The times of the visits and lectures are listed in the Course Outline.

Warsaw and Eastern Europe: History, Society and Culture

A. General
Activity: Walking Tour of Warsaw

B. Ethnic Minorities in Eastern Europe
Activity: Presentation by Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, OSCE
Guest Lecture: The Roma in Central and Eastern Europe

C. Trip to Lodz
Activity: Historical walking tour of Lodz
Activity: Polish Film and Discussion

D. Trip to Krakow
Activity: Visit to Auschwitz or Wieliczka Salt Mine
Activity: Visit to Oscar Schindler Museum
Activity: Visit to Wawel castle

World War Two and the Introduction of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe

Activity: Visit to the Warsaw Uprising Museum.  This is how to get there.

Life under Communism, 1945 – 1989

Activity: Play boardgame, “Kolejka” (2011), created by the Polish Institute for National Remembrance; this game got international press.

Inequalities in Eastern Europe

Activity: Film and Discussion: Za Zelazna Brama (“Behind the Iron Gate”)

Special Topics in Eastern Europe

Guest Lecture: Crime in Poland and Eastern Europe
Guest Lecture: Political participation in Eastern Europe

Class Policies for SOC 3549, SOC 4699 and SOC 5503

Attendance is mandatory for lecture, seminars, and recitation sessions. A significant percentage 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 Ohio State 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 (SOC 3549, SOC 4699 & SOC 5503)

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. For SOC 3549 and SOC 4699, please read the assigned readings before the lecture in which they will be discussed.

June 12, 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 13, Thursday

10:00 – 11:10 – Lecture & Discussion, Room 164: Populations and Samples, Variables and their Values, Organizing the Data 

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 14, 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 15, Saturday

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

June 16, Sunday: Free time

19:00 – Dinner. Meeting at 18:40 in Hera Lobby

June 17, 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.  We will play Kolejka.

June 18, 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 19, 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 20, Thursday

10:00 – 13:00 – Individual Consultations

14:30 – 17:30 – Individual Consultations

June 21, Friday – June 23, Sunday: Trip to Lodz. Symposium – Study Tour
June 21, Friday, meet at 10:30 in the lobby of the Hera Hotel.
Accommodation: Hotel Polonia

June 24, Monday

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 – CEE Lecture: The Roma in Central and Eastern Europe

June 25, Tuesday

10:00 – 11:10 – Lecture & Discussion: ANOVA Room 154

READINGS: ESSR, Analysis of Variance

11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab

14:30 – 16:00 – Film and Discussion: Za Zelazna Brama (“Behind the Iron Gate”)

June 26, Wednesday

10:00 – 11:10 – Lecture & Discussion: Measures of Association; Contingency Tables

11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab;

14:30 – 16:00 – Lecture in CEE

16:00 – Working on Individual Projects and Assignments

June 27, Thursday

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

READINGS: ESSR, Correlation

11:00 –12:45 – Computer Lab; Assignment no. 2 due.

June 28, Friday

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

June 29, Saturday – June 30, Sunday: Free time

July 1, Monday

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 2, Tuesday

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

11:30 – 12:45 – Computer Lab

14:30 – 16:00 – Guest Lecture: Tad Krauze, Hofstra University, USA

July 3, Wednesday

10:00 – 12:45 – Individual Consultations

14:30 – 16:00 – Individual Consultations

July 4, Thursday

10:00 – 12:30 – Lecture: CEE

Departure to Krakow – Meet in the Entry Hall of IFiS. Time TBA.

July 4 – July 7, Sunday: Krakow (Departure time from Krakow: TBA)
Accommodation: Student Hotel Żaczek

July 8, 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 – Guest Lecture: Dr. Anna Kierstyn, “Crime in Poland”

July 9, 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 10, Wednesday

10:00 – 11:15 – Exam

14:30 – 16:30 – Finalizing Individual Projects

18:30 Dinner; Meeting Place TBA

July 11, Thursday

10:00 – 12:30 – Finalizing Individual Projects

12:30 – 13:45 – Lunch & Summary Session. Place TBA

14:00 – 15:30 – Finalizing Individual Projects; Essay & First version of Paper due

July 12, Friday Departures

July 31, Wednesday, by 6 PM: Final Paper due, via email to