Required Books:   Our main texts will be available through the University Bookstore:

  • James Spickard: Research Basics: From Design to Data Analysis in Six Steps.  Sage, 2017. (ISBN: 978-14833-87215)
  • Ryan J. Winter: A Crash Course in Statistics.  Sage 2018. (ISBN: 978:15443-0704-6)

Recommended Texts:  Some selections will be on Library Reserve.

  • James Spickard: Thinking Through Statistics: Exploring Quantitative Sociology.
    • This book gives you a practical introduction to quantitative analysis, focusing on why you would want to do this analysis in the first place.  The first five chapters use maps and place-based variables to introduce correlation and regression.  The second five chapters show how to analyze survey data using distributions, cross-tabulations, control variables, t-tests, and ANOVAs.  It comes with free Sociological Insights software that lets you work through the examples.
    • The text is now out of print.  Download the text (PDF) HERE and the software (zip file) HERE.
  • Mildred L. Patten: Proposing Empirical Research, 5th editionRoutledge, 2014. (ISBN: 978-1936523306)
    • The last half of this book contains over 20 examples of completed research proposals.  Read them to get an idea of what your proposal should include.
  • Lyn Richards & Janice Morse: Read Me First for a User’s Guide to Qualitative Methods.  Sage, 2012.  (ISBN: 978-1412998062) 
    • This book is excellent for guiding qualitative data analysis.  It contains some conceptual flaws but also much wisdom.  The section on coding is particularly fine.  We will read that, plus a couple of other chapters, using library reserves.
    • The 2006 edition is as good as the 2012, though not quite so up-to-date on computer-assisted coding.
  • Peter Nardi: Interpreting Data: A Guide to Understanding Research. Pearson, 2006. (ISBN: 978-0205439195)
    • A very good overview of quantitative data analysis. More detailed than what you’ll find in either of our course texts.
    • Out of print, but available used for about $12 on Amazon.

Library Reserve Readings:  I shall place several articles and a few books on Library Reserve at the University’s Armacost Library.  Click HERE for a direct link to the Armacost Library Reserves for this course.


  • L. Davidman: Motherloss (chapter 1 plus any one chapter 3-7 of your choice)
  • C. Eden & C. Huxham: “Researching Organizations Using Action Research.”  Pp.  388-408 in S. Clegg, C. Hardy, & W. Nord, ed., The Handbook of Organisation Studies.  Sage, 2006.
  • D. Klooster: “Environmental Certification of Forests in Mexico: The political ecology of a nongovernmental market intervention.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 96 (3): 541-565, 2006.
  • J. Newman: “Action Research: The Tensions of Teaching.”  Pp 1-24 in J. Newman, ed., Tensions and Teaching: Beyond Tips to Critical Reflection.  Teacher’s College Press, 1998.
  • L. Richards & J. Morse: Read Me First for a User’s Guide to Qualitative Methods
  • — chapters 6, 9, and 10
  • C. Smith: Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers —  chapter 2, and the Methodological Appendix
  • J. Spickard: Thinking Through Statistics: Exploring Quantitative Sociology. Toroverde Press, 2005.
  • J. Spickard:  “Microqualitative Approaches to the Sociology of Religion: Phenomenologies, Interviews, Narratives, and Ethnographies.”  Pp. 121-143 in J. Beckford and N.J. Demerath, eds., Handbook of the Sociology of Religion.  Sage, 2007.  
  • J. Spickard: “Demography of the Salton Sea Study Area: Population Characteristics 1990-1998 Relevant to Ensuring Environmental Justice” (click link to view)
    This report estimates selected population characteristics for the census tracts in the Salton Sea Study Area for 1998.  It had been 8 years since the previous census and the area had undergone significant social change, so we needed to generate new figures.  Pages 1-5 describe the project and data sources, pages 6-24 show our results for ethnicity, poverty, neighborhood stability, population age-structure, and education levels.  The rest of the report contains our source data.  present this as an example of the kind of research one can do with pre-existing data.
  • J. Spickard et al: Personal Knowledge and Beyond especially:
    • Chapter 1 (by Davidman)
    • Chapter 3 (by Neitz)
    • Chapter 5 (by Tweed)
    • Chapter 8 (by Landres)
    • Chapter 11 (by Birckhead)
  • T. Wengraff: Qualitative Research Interviewing (chapter on CRQ, IQ, & TQ: either 3 or 4, depending on the edition)
  • W.F. Whyte et al: “Participatory Action Research: Through Practice to Science in Social Research”.  American Behavioral Scientist vol 32, no 5: 513-551, 1989.

The exact reading calendar is on this site’s Schedule page.

Web Resources: