Soc 1
Fall 2009
Paper Assignment

There is one writing assignment for the class. We want you to have the experience of thinking like a research sociologist. To do this we will ask you to pick one of the following tables (which contains information from the survey taken by you and your classmates for Prof. Friedland's project on "Sex, Love and God.") Your job is to (1) examine the table carefully, analyze the relationship between the variables and (2) then go out into the "field" and contact one person (they should NOT be enrolled in Soc 1 this quarter) and interview them in such a way that you can fill in information for the table that you are examining, see whether your interview can either confirm and explain the findings in the table and/or show other relations or associations that may not be immediately visible in the table (or which even contradict the findings in the table).

See below for more detailed instructions and information about the
REQUIRED human subjects training module. Note you must take the training module before you conduct your interview.

The paper is due on Tuesday Nov 24th (turn in the paper during the lecture, and also email a copy to us too -- see below for instructions). The paper should be between 3-5 pages long.

Late papers will lose 1 full letter grade and will not be accepted at all after Tuesday Dec. 1st. (no exceptions).

Analyzing the Data Table:

(1) Look at the tables below.  Pick one that interests you as the topic for your research.

(2) Each table contains a cross-tabulation comparing the information from two different variables.    Table 1 has one variable containing responses to the question, "I can easily imagine myself enjoying a brief sexual encounter with someone I find very attractive" cross-tabulated with a second variable which has information on the gender of the respondent.  So the cross-tabulation between the gender variable for the response "Male" and the "Enjoy brief Sexual Encounter" variable for the response "Strongly Disagree" is 7.  At the bottom of that column you can see the total number of "Male" responses is 175. Thus 4% of the male respondents gave the "Strongly Disagree" response to the question.  In contrast, 48 women, representing 16.3% of all (294) female respondents gave the "Strongly Disagree" response to the question. 

(3) We have also printed out chi-square statistics for each table.  You do not need to worry about anything technical here.  All you need to know is that if the first number is between .000 and .05, the likelihood of this relationship being due to chance is really low and that means there is some non-random association between the variables.  Of the tables included here, table 5, 6, 9 & 11 have NON-significant associations between the two cross-tabulated variables, all of the other tables show a clear and significant relationship. (If you want to find out a bit more about this, follow this link),


The following tables contain summary findings from the Soc 1 (Fall 2009) survey on "Sex. Love & God." This is preliminary data. 
Permission to use this data is limited
to classroom purposes.
Any other use of this data is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Principal Investigator, Roger Friedland, Dept of Sociology and of Religious Studies, UCSB. (


I can easily imagine myself enjoying a brief sexual encounter with someone I find very attractive


Sex without love is...
Which one statement comes closest to your personal beliefs about God?


Respondent’s virginity
Sex without love is...


Respondent’s virginity


Romantic Love Brainwashes Women and Forms the Basis for their Subordination

Sex without love is...
Parents Marital Status

Last sexual encounter, at the time of this last sexual encounter, did you hope to develop a relationship with your partner?

Last Sexual Encounter: Did You Love This Person at the Time
Last Sexual Encounter: Previous Sexual Encounters
with same Person

Last Sexual Encounter: Did You Love This Person at the Time
Parents Marital

Which one statement comes closest to your personal beliefs about God?
Last Sexual Encounter: Did you tell your partner you loved them
Parents Marital Status

Conducting your interview:
(1) Selecting your interview subject:  You may interview a friend or a stranger.  They should NOT be currently enrolled in Soc 1.  They can be a UCSB student (but they don't have to be).

(2) How to approach your subject:  You should begin by explaining that you are conducting an interview as a part of an assignment for your Introduction to Sociology class.  You should explain to your subject that you will be writing a paper based in part on information that they provide to you during the course of your interview but that you will not reveal their name or otherwise describe them in a way that readers of the report would be able to identify them. If you are using a recording device you should ask your interviewee for their permission to record the conversation. Be prepared to take notes in case they refuse. 

(3) Background questions.  You will want to ask about or notice basic information.  What is your subject's gender, their age, their ethnicity, are they a student? what is their major?  These are easy questions to get answers to.  If you feel comfortable doing so, and if it seems useful for your investigation, you should also ask for other kinds of background information. What is their religion? Do they believe in God? What is their sexual orientation?  Are they currently in a relationship? For how long? What is their class background?  and so on. 

(4) Investigative questions: Before you start the interview you should know what you want to find out.  You will have consulted the statistical table that you are using, it will tell you something specific about the relationship between two variables. After studying the table and having developed a sense of what may be going on among the population of students who answered those questions (e.g., you guys), you should go into your interview with a set of questions that would allow you to confirm (or maybe disconfirm) some ideas or theories you have about what is going on. The main question you will have is why this result?  Why did students answer as they did?  Maybe you have some genuine puzzles, or some confusions. Can your interview subject help you answer those questions? In any case, make sure you have some specific (at least three or four) particular issues that you want to find out about. 

(5) How to interview?:  You can find your own pace in the way that you do this.  If you want to ask a specific set of questions, one after the other, that is fine. If you go this route, be sure and be open to exploring answers your respondent provides, probing more deeply for what they mean.  You might also go for a less structured interview, conducting your investigation in the form of a conversation.  If you pursue this approach, be sure and keep your key questions handy, it is easy to be distracted from finding out the answers to your main questions, once you get talking.

Human Subjects Training Module: Before going out to do your field interview you must complete the UCSB Human Subjects Training Module.

Here is some information you should read in association with this:

To actually begin the training go to this link:

Go to the LOGIN Page and enter this information:

Login ID: SOCL-MO-JO-032
Your last name,
first name and
Your Sponsor's email:
Last name of ID Number Owner: Mohr
Other notification (Enter Your TA's email address here--see below)


It should look like this:


The Link is Here.

Once you complete this, an email will be sent to me and to your TA alerting us that you have completed the exam. (it doesn't take very long, but you need to do it before you begin the personal interview).


Preparing the paper:
You should print a copy of your paper and turn it in at the end of lecture on Tuesday Nov. 24th. (If you wish to turn in the paper earlier, you may do so by making an arrangement with your TA). The paper should use the format presented below. Clearly mark the beginning of each section using the titles listed below. So, after listing your identifying information as shown, then have a section header called "Introduction" and then fill in the introduction, then have a section header called "Description of Procedures". etc. 

The paper should have the following information and sections:

Your Name
Date submitted:
"Submitted to Introduction to Sociology, Prof. Mohr. UCSB Fall 2009"

Your Perm #
Your TA's Name
Your Section Time

1. Introduction:
Has a summary paragraph explaining the goal of the paper and quickly summarizing the argument you are making.

2. Description of Procedures:
Here you should spend a paragraph or two explaining what you did. Be specific. E.G., "I downloaded Table # 3 which has information taken from a survey of students enrolled in Sociology 1 in fall quarter 2009....I conducted an interview on Wednesday Nov. 11. The interview lasted approximately 45 minutes..." etc.

3. Summary of Findings from the Statistical Table.
Discuss the table in some detail. Talk about what you learned from the table, how you know what you know and what questions may have been raised for you after seeing this information (see below for further instructions).

4. Summary of Findings from the Personal Interview.
Tell a little bit about your interview subject (but do not identify them by name or in any other way such that the reader could know who they are).  What is their gender, their age, their ethnicity, are they a student? and so on. What questions did you ask? What were the responses? What are some things you learned from the interview?

5. Reflections on Findings.
Here you should reflect on the connection between the two different sources of data. How do the two investigations complement one another (or fail to do so). What have you learned? What questions (if any) have been left unanswered? What other investigations might be profitably pursued to find out more?

6. Conclusion:
Sum up in a paragraph or so. What was the question that you started with? What have you learned about that question now? What other issues remain to be investigated or what caveats or hesitations do you have about the findings presented here? Any suggestions for future research?


EMAIL US A COPY:  The official deadline for submission is in lecture on November 24th and you must turn in a hardcopy of the paper.  However, we also would like you to email us a copy of your paper to the following address ( (when you turn in the hardcopy or shortly thereafter). A simple text file or .rtf or .pdf would be great. or a Word file.  Ask your TA if you have questions about this. 

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