Exploring Society By The Numbers

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Gender, Martial Status, and Earnings
Berk (1985) proposed that the family is a "gender factory"; that is, families are social institutions in which ideas about gender are formed, enforced, and reproduced across generations. This exercise examines the relationships between marital status and earnings among women aged 25 and over, using data from the 1990 U.S. Census. We will attempt to answer the following question: Does marital status influence earnings among women?

Marital Trends
The end of World War II created a dramatic increase in births. Known as the "Baby Boom", this trend continued into the early 1960's. During this period, five out of six women in peak childbearing years gave birth to at least two children. Americans were also marrying and staying married. As baby boomers have matured, they have not followed their parent's marriage and childbearing patterns.

Marriage and Divorce
This activity provides a look at marriage and divorce among different race/ethnicity, ages, education and income levels over time.

Cohabitation
This module is designed to illustrate the effects of selection bias on the observed relationship between premarital cohabitation and later divorce. It also serves as a review of key methodological concepts introduced in the first part of the course.

Families in Social Context: Marriage and Divorce
Students will trace changes in family behavior from 1950 to 1990 and assess their magnitude, considering the pace and timing of these changes. Marital status, number of children and household type will be examined by both race/ethnicity and class. Additional team questions will be introduced that focus on marriage and intimate relationships; fertility and childrearing; divorce; and families and poverty. Students will present answers and supporting data to these questions via class presentations.

Residential Mobility and Migration
In this module you will have the opportunity to explore the frequency of different types of residential moves carried out by Americans. You will examine some of the basic determinants of residential mobility by looking at variations in different types of mobility by age, marital status, education, and housing tenure.

Education in America
Focusing on education, we will examine the changes from 1950 to 1990 in the numbers, race, gender, and occupations of high school and college graduates. Turning our attention to cohorts and population structure, we will trace birth trends over the past four decades, namely the Baby Boom, and discuss possible causes and effects.

Attitudes Towards Premarital Sex
This exercise asses students' knowledge about attitudes towards premarital sex.

Correlates of Desistance
There is no question that life in America has changed drastically in the past fifty years. Given the importance of examining historical change inherent in the life course perspective, it is important to determine how changes in the social structure over time impact individuals. Therefore, the goals of this data analysis exercise are to examine changes in marriage and employment over the last fifty years. The purposes are to identify the changes that have taken place, and to hypothesize how these changes may affect the process of desistance from crime today.

Trends in Marriage Behavior
Students will explore trends in marriage from 1950-2000. The purpose of this assignment is to give some familiarity with how sociologists use datasets to both describe and analyze the social world.


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