KEY FEATURES: • Designed to be used in a range of 100-level and 200-level courses, including introductory sociology, social problems, and courses that focus on race, class, gender, or sexuality. • Introduces students to basic analytic techniques in the social sciences, such as frequency distributions, cross-tabulations, and comparisons of means. • No software purchase required–all exercises are carried out on the open-access Survey Documentation and Analysis (SDA) website. • Screen captures from the SDA website, and careful step-by-step instructions, are provided to help students with no previous data analysis experience. • Early chapters focus on single categories of difference and inequality; later chapters examine how these factors intersect within the domains of family, education, and work. • Multiple choice questions and open-ended exercises at the end of each chapter test mastery of the material and give students opportunities to extend their analyses to other questions.

Understanding Data: Critical Concepts

Chapter 2 understanding data: Critical concepts

Learning Objectives

By the end of this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Describe the General Social Survey.
  • Use the SDA website to identify variables of interest to you.
  • Use the SDA website to identify the mode and, where applicable, the median and mean of each variable.
  • Describe a range of variables, including the survey question associated with each variable, the response categories for each variable, and level of measurement.
  • Interpret a univariate frequency table.

Before analyzing inequalities with survey data, it is important to be familiar with some of the basic concepts in survey research and data analysis. This chapter begins with an introduction to the General Social Survey (GSS), which is one of the most widely analyzed surveys in the ...

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