Exploring Society By The Numbers

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Principles of Sociology
We have spent the last few weeks discussing race, class, and gender inequalities and how sociologists conceptualize these inequalities on the structural, rather than the individual, level. In this second research report, you will have the opportunity to apply this structural perspective. You will use U.S. Census data from 1950 to 1990 to analyze shifts in occupational structures in your home state and how these shifts vary by race, sex, or education.

Preparing Community Profiles
People are at the root of community profiling: they create the need for planning functions, and they experience the effects - for better or worse - of planning efforts. ""Community Profiling"" is often essential for effective planning. ""Planning"" are synonymous terms; they mean the same. But unless planners know who ""their people"" are and how their characteristics affect - and are affected by - various professional functions, planners cannot fully meet the needs of the population they are profiling. Thus, although it is not a core planning focus, such as land use or transportation, demographic analysis occupies a position of overarching importance in community profiling.

Putting Census Data to Work
This module introduces students to using census data through three distinct scenarios: grocery store chains, anti-poverty programs, and bookstores.

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?

Community Resource Planning
Students will act as the administrator of an agency dealing with meeting the needs of diverse groups in a two county area. They will use census data to obtain information for the purpose of community resource planning.

Using Census Data to Explore Race and Ethnicity
Students will interpret CensusScope data regarding segregation exposure and the dissimilarity index from a sociological perspective.

Women and Household Structure
While you do the exercises in this lesson, you will find data that look at some of these claims. In the next lesson, we will explore some of the demographic "causes" of the increase in the status of women-declines in both mortality and fertility and an increase in urbanization.

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.

Predictors of Family Structure
This exercise looks at race and family income as predictors of family structure. Students will test and evaluate hypotheses, learning how to work with control variables and bivariate tables.

Introduction to U.S. Census Data
This activity provides an introduction to U.S. Census data using American Factfinder.


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