College-of-the-Air and On-line Soc. 201 Optional Mini-Essay Projects

You may decide to do several, but no more than three, or none of these mini-essay projects. It's entirely your choice. Please comply with the expected submission date if you want to get extra credit for this work.

 Project 1:  Identifying the Correlates of Stable Democratic Governments

    Why are some nations able to maintain stable democracies while others keep falling prey to political upheavals? This question has perplexed many political theorists and sociologists of political life ever since democracy first came into being in ancient Greece. Without attempting to address all of the important scholarship on this question, we will present several leading hypotheses and you will collect some relevant data on the Internet to evaluate the veracity of the viewpoints mentioned.

     Over a hundred years ago the eminent French scholar Alexis de Tocqueville visited America and tried to make some sense of why this country seemed so adept at sustaining its democratic government compared to most European nations. De Toqueville was impressed with the penchant among Americans to associate with one another in many different organizations. Through such attachments—whether to their churches, local civic organizations, or other clubs and groups of various sorts—Americans got connected and had many opportunities both to socialize with one another and to develop leadership abilities and experience, serving in their many and diverse organizations. De Toqueville saw these associational attachments as pivotal to maintaining larger democratic structures, creating loyal (and disloyal) oppositions and giving individuals opportunities to develop leadership skills and resources, rather than to have such resources remain concentrated in the hands of its few current leaders.

     More recently, the astute analyses of S. M. Lipset, dating back to the 1950s and building upon deTocqueville’s immense contributions, argued that democracies are sustained by literacy, a measure of affluence and industrial development. If people do not have the available time to join political and other groups because they are so busy struggling to put food on their  tables, then democracy will be frustrated. If people cannot read and readily accept alternate or oppositional viewpoints because of their educational deficiencies, this, too, thwarts the democratic process; and, if there are no or few competing available sources of information in society from books, radio, and television, then democratic processes are likely to be discouraged under these conditions, as well.

     Researching and satisfactorily verifying the above hypotheses could be a daunting task. However, you will try to do this in a preliminary way, offering some suggestive testing of the hypotheses mentioned, using the Internet. The CIA publishes its World Factbook every year,  presenting concise profiles of all the world’s nations, which should help us to explore the views under investigation. We will do this systematically, selecting a sample of the 266 countries mentioned in the current edition of the CIA World Factbook. Go to the CIA World Factbook Web site, Country Listing page.

     There, you will see listed 266 places throughout the world. Assign each a number and put the 266 numbers into a container and draw out 20. Some of the places you have chosen will not be actual countries, like the Indian Ocean. If you happen to select one of these, discard it, also discarding those cases like the Christmas Islands. Select only places that belong to the United Nations as member countries. When you get twelve names of countries you will be ready to proceed to the next step.

    Next, prepare a table where you can list your 12 countries with the six dimensions. Below we have sketched a model for you to follow in designing your tables.         

Country

Government Type: Transitional/ Unstable vs Federal republic government or Monarch Democracy/ parliamentary

Literacy rate Economy I

GNP per capita

Economy II

%Ind.& Service Workers compared to Agricultural%

# of radio &

TV stations

% of

Population with radios & TV

Country 1               
Country 2            
Country 3            
Country 4            
Country 5            
Country 6            
Country 7            
Country 8            
Country 9            
Country 10            
Country 11            
Country 12            

     Once you have listed your twelve countries and all six dimensions you should be ready to summarize any trends or patterns on the five hypotheses being investigated. Do any of these five other features bear any relationship to differences in government types? Summarize your findings.

 

Project 2: What Makes A Rich (or High Status) Neighborhood?

And, on the other side of the coin, what makes for a low or average income neighborhood? From television, if not from your own experiences, we all know Beverly Hills, California to be one of the country's most exclusive places. Is it because of all the movie stars and other celebrities living there that make it so exclusive? Is it all those exquisite estate homes? Is it because its residents are so powerful and influential in our society? Probably all of these reasons account for at least some of the preeminence of this community. In this exercise you are going to systematically dissect the Beverly Hills community and understand why it is regarded as having a high status rating, beyond its celebrity inhabitants. There are many other similar American high status communities: Litchfield, CT., Old Brookville, NY, Shaker Heights, OH., Evanston, IL, La Jolla, CA, and others, the list is a long one. And then, of course, there are all those non-elite locales; what makes these communities have their ratings, too?

After you complete this exercise you will be able to carefully pinpoint any high, medium or low status American communities. Unfortunately, I must warn you, you will need to do some calculations to get some of the percentages asked for. To do this you will need to put the numbers in asked for as the numerator (for example  the number of whites) and divide it by the denominator (i.e. the total number in the population). In some cases you will use the total number of people in each community as the denominator; in others the denominator will be number of households. Please have a calculator available to do the necessary figuring. For the first table below all percentages should be available in the Census Table printouts you will be obtaining. For the second table you will need to calculate some percentages.

The first step in the lengthy process of creating all the desired table information will be to get the data for Beverly Hills. Let's now go to the Census website to get the Beverly Hills data. First, go to the website listed below:

http://www.census.gov/main/www/cen2000.html

At the main Factfinder page select the Summary File 3 option. Then select access to all tables and maps. In your next screen you will see a button showing the SF3 file was chosen. Next, make the quick tables choice at the right of the screen. Next, from the pull out list shown in the top center of the screen select the last choice 5 digit zip code area from the geographic type request option. A long list of 3 digit numbers will appear next and from this choose 902, the first three numbers in the Beverly Hills zipcode. Next, new boxes will appear below and from these you will finally be able to select the 90210 zipcode and click add box below it. Then click next button. Next, select the three quick tables you will want to print out: DP-2, DP-3 and DP-4. Next, print these tables out. To get the population and household data you will need for Beverly Hills start this same selection process again but instead of taking the quick tables choice you will want to ask for detailed tables. Repeat all other steps and select the P-6, P-7 and P-12 to get the necessary population, race and household information for Beverly Hills. You will need to repeat all these steps to get the comparable information for Freeport, New York (zip code 11520) and for your own 5 digit zip code community.

First, as a contrast, just see how Beverly Hills differs from a more typical American community, as you compare  the same figures for Freeport, NY and for Beverly Hills. Freeport, for those who do not know it, is a pretty typical working-class, suburban, seashore community on Long Island's south shore, about 20-25 miles east of New York City. The zip code for Freeport is 11520.

Comparing the two you will note the very highly valued Beverly Hills properties stand out in sharp contrast to a community like Freeport, NY, whose house values are still a good deal above national US house values, but nowhere close to the stratospheric Beverly Hills levels.

Let's try to further penetrate the differences between the folks living in 90210 with those in Freeport, NY. Let's compare the differences in annual household incomes between both groups. And let's also look at their educational differences and the kinds of jobs they hold. Make up comparison tables for both communities showing median household incomes in both, income ranges, educational differences, classes of workers and types of occupations held. Below we have created tables for you to fill in with the correct computed percentages to compare Beverly Hills & Freeport.

Fill in the correct percentages for the table shown below.

 

Beverly Hills

Freeport  

 Your Community

Median Household Income      

% Household income > $100K

     

% Household income $99,999 or less 

     

Median House value

     
% House value less than 200K      

% House value between 200K and 500K

     
% House value over 500K      

% with Master/Ph.D.

     

% with Bachelors degree

     

% with some college or assoc.degree

     

% with high school

     

% less than high school  

     

% wage& salary workers

     

% self-employed

     

% government worker (all types)

     

% unpaid family workers

     
% managerial/ professional        
% service occupations      
% sales & office workers       
% farming/fishing        

% construction, extraction, maintenance

     

% production, transportation and moving occups.

     

Now compare and contrast the groups in terms of the monetary earnings, educational and occupational differences.

Let's now examine the differences between both places in terms of a few other social attributes. We suspect that a community's overall social status would be affected by several other factors, as well. A community with a high percentage of middle-aged residents is likely to be a wealthier one, than another with a higher percentage of children and/ or old people. In either case of having higher percentages of children or elderly it reduces the potential work force. Also, households containing more children, and those with more people who are living alone could depress total family and household incomes. A more racially diverse community usually is likely to be a poorer community than another one, more predominately composed of whites--without taking anything else into account. Also, a community with a higher percentage of foreign-born residents could be less affluent one than another composed of more native-born residents. Are these generalizations appropriate for the three communities you are examining?

For these analyses you will need to generate a new set of tables from detailed tables you chose at the Census Factfinder site. Here you will need to generate several percentages by yourself from the raw data totals.

Community

 

Beverly Hills

Freeport  

Your Community

Total population        
% White alone        
% Black alone        

% Asian/ Pacific alone

     

% Hispanic

     
% Pop. between 5-20      

% Pop. between 21-64

     
% Pop. 65 & over         

% Foreign born

     

% Born in State

     
% Born in Different State        

Total households  

     

% family households  

     
% nonfamily households        
% householders living alone       

% all households with children > 18 years

     

Now after assembling the table data examine the hypotheses stated above and evaluate whether they are supported with these data.

For extra credit evaluate your own home community in comparison with Beverly Hills and Freeport. Take your zip code and generate all the tables that you have produced thus far at the Census Factfinder site. Now, create one large table showing all the data elements we have been evaluating here for Beverly Hills, Freeport and your community. Based on the values found for your community how does your community rate, as a mostly upscale one, as a mostly working class community, as between or beyond these types. Think of social stratification as a multidimensional continuum, whose elements are not all equally closely related to one another. What did you learn about social stratification in America and in your community from doing this assignment?

Project 3:Analyze Your Community: Has it Changed Much Since 1990?

You could live in a place like Floral Park Village, NY that hasn't changed much since the 1990 Census. To get census information on the racial distribution in your community for 1990 go to the Census website:

http://www.census.gov

The 1990 information can be obtained by following these steps:

Select American Factfinder. Then choose datasets, Decennial Census and select 1990 Census. You will want to choose the 1990 Summary Tape File 1. Choose Quick Tables. Then select your geography choice unit, place. You'll then be able to choose the state of interest, and you will choose NY from the list of states that appears. After that a listing of places will appear including your place of interest, such as Port Washington CDP. If you select the DP- 1 Table you will see the race distribution for your community somewhere near the bottom of the table. 

 Note that the population percent totals shown below exceed 100%. This is because Hispanics can be members of any race. (Note: the Hispanic plus Nonhispanic total will add up to 100 percent. The Blacks, Whites, Asian & all others will also add up to 100 percent.) Nevertheless, if calculations are done consistently, over selected time periods, one should be able to see greater changes in some communities than in others. 

To get the Census 2000 information for communities go to:

http://www.census.gov

At the top center of this page click on the box marked Census 2000 data available now and fill in the information for your desired state and place of residence and press go. (This list is a longer one than the 1990 list of places; make sure to select the same place for 1990 & 2000 when you make your time period comparison).

 

Floral Park Village

 

1990 (N)

1990 (%)

2000 (N) 2000 (%)

Gain /Loss (N)

Gain /Loss (%)

Total Pop.

15,947

15,967 

+20

.001%

White Pop.

15,540

97%

14,938

94%

-602

-3%

Black Pop.

      23

.1%

       74

.5%

   51

.4%

Hispanic Pop.

    485

3%

     859

5%

 374

2%

Asian Pop.

    302

2%

    620

4%

 318

2%

 

Let's also consider another place in this region that underwent far greater change than Floral Park did: Queens County. (The Queens location code is 081 & the state code for NY is again 36). Though Queens didn't grow much in overall size, its racial composition changed considerably.

 

Queens County

 

1990 (N)

1990 (%)

2000 (N) 2000 (%)

Gain /Loss (N)

Gain /Loss (%)

Total Pop.

1,951,598

 

2,229,379   

+277,781

1.2%

White Pop.

1,130,320

58%

   982,725

44%

-147,195

-12%

Black Pop.

   423,439

22%

   446,189

20%

    22,750

-2%

Hispanic Pop.

   371,326

19%

   556,605

25%

  185,279

6%

Asian Pop.

   238,818

12%

   391,500

18%

  152,682

6%

 

Prepare a similar table for your own community of residence from these above two web-sites and compare and contrast all three communities. Speculate on the other kinds of social changes likely to accompany changes in size or racial composition over the ten year time span. For extra credit consult any reputable sociological source materials addressing population and racial composition change issues and see how this supports or takes issue with your speculations of consequences.

Your Community

 

1990 (N)

1990 (%)

2000 (N) 2000 (%)

Gain /Loss (N)

Gain /Loss (%)

Total Pop.

 

 

   

 

 

White Pop.

 

 

   

 

 

Black Pop.

 

 

   

 

 

Hispanic Pop.

 

 

   

 

 

Asian Pop.

All reports must be typewritten.

Project 4: Parental Values

    For most lay people, "socialization" may mean something like partying or interaction. For the sociologists, a different meaning applies: It is the process by which an individual learns how to become a functioning member of his or her society; it refers to internalizing the appropriate behavior patterns, values, and attitudes, as well as the acquisition of necessary skills and information. Socialization involves implanting culture within the individual, enabling the person to survive effectively in his or her social world. It is a lifelong process; individuals alter their adaptations unceasingly as they respond to the changing conditions of their physical and social environment.

    There are many influences that adapt people to society. These agencies of socialization, as they are called, include the family, peers, schools, the communications media, the workplace, and religious institutions, among others. In the United States, as in most other societies, the family is the most important socializing agent.

    The General Social Survey has very relevant information on the issue of socialization and especially on parental values. From the many GSS surveys dating back to 1972, we can also probe whether American parents of today are thinking any differently about raising their children than parents did a decade ago. We can use the questions to investigate parental values in contemporary American society. The original text of the GSS question is: If you had to choose, which thing on this list would you pick as the most important for a child to learn to prepare him or her for life? Which comes next in importance? Which comes third? Which comes fourth?

  1. To obey. To be well-liked or popular.
  2. To think for himself or herself (showing independent thought).
  3. To work hard. To help others when they need help.

    The variable names for the above five selections in GSS data are: OBEY, POPULAR, THNKSELF, WORKHARD, and HELPOTH. In this project, we will use the GSS data to explore Americans' socialization values in parenting.

    Let's visit SDA (Survey Documentation and Analysis) at the University of California, Berkeley. SDA is a set of programs for the documentation and Web-based analysis of survey data. Click here to go directly to the GSS data analysis menu, GSS Cumulative Datafile 1972–2008. We are now ready to do some interesting analyses. On this page, make sure that you select "Frequencies or crosstabulation" by clicking it with your mouse. Now click the Start button.  The layout of the page is shown below.

    Now you will see

    REQUIRED Variable names to specify
    Row:

    Let's type in OBEY,POPULAR,THNKSELF,WORKHARD,HELPOTH 

    These represent the five value questions we discussed above. 

    Now look for:

   Percentaging:  __Column __Row __Total

    Click on Column.   

    Last but not least, under

   Other options
   __ Statistics     __ Suppress table     __ Question text
   __ Color coding   __ Show T-statistic

   Click on Question text and Color coding

   Finally click on Run the Table.

   If you are still confused as to what to do, look at the layout below. Simply follow what you see and you should be able to complete the task. 

   Just to make sure that you have the correct table, we list the first part of the results. If your table is different from what is presented below, redo your work.

   Note that due to the size of the Row box, you only saw OBEY,POPULAR,THNKSELF,WORKHARD, 

   Just remember to type in 

   OBEY,POPULAR,THNKSELF,WORKHARD,HELPOTH 

   Now, you will be asked to complete the following table:

Table 4.1: Parental Socialization Values: % of respondents considered item most important, GSS 1986–2000

Socialization item Percentage
obey  
popular  
thnkself  
workhard  
helpoth  
total 100%

   Which item is considered most important by the respondents? Which one is the next? Which item is considered least important? Can you elaborate on what you found?

   The next task would be an assessment of the trends in parental values. The earliest available data for the above five items can be found in the 1986 survey. The last year the GSS studied these things again was in the 2000 survey. Therefore we will repeat what we did earlier for these two years, 1986 and 2000. This will allow us to see trends of changing parenting values in the United States over the years 1986 and 2000.

Table 4.2: Parental Socialization Values: % of respondents considered item most important, GSS 1986, 2000, and 1986–2000.

  1986 2000 1986-2000 Percentage difference between 86 and 2000
Socialization item        
OBEY        
POPULAR        
THNKSELF        
WORKHARD        
HELPOTH        
total 100% 100% 100% 100%

   Keep in mind that you already completed column 3 (1986–2000) in Table 4.1. You just need to copy the data from Table 4.1.

   To get the data for 1986, we only need to make sure that the "Selection Filter(s)" option is set to be: year(1986). 

   

Now click here to go to SDA analysis page

   Click on Frequencies or crosstabulation and click Start.
   Type OBEY,POPULAR,THNKSELF,WORKHARD,HELPOTH into the row box.  Now look for 

   Selection Filter(s): __________________ Example: age(18-50) gender(1)
 

   Type YEAR(1986) in the above box. Select Column percentage. Click on Question text and Color coding. Finally click on "Run the Table."

   This will generate the parental values for 1986 respondents only. The results from this table should be needed for you to complete column 1 of Table 4.2.  Again, to make sure that you have the right tables, compare your tables with the one below. The table below is based on 1986 data. If the results do not match, you will need to rerun the table.

   Now click here to go to SDA analysis page . Click on Frequencies or crosstabulation and click Start.  Follow the steps outlined above. This time, Selection Filter(s) should be YEAR(2000). After you obtain the data, enter them into column 2 of Table 4.2. Let's make a comparison now. Do respondents in 1986 show similar parenting attitudes compared to their 2000 counterparts? Or have you noticed any significant changes over the 14 year period? Discuss in detail any differences in parental values that can be observed. For extra credit go to the GSS Website or any other electronic bibliographical resource for sociological research to see if any sociological has emerged documenting recent parental value change.

Project 5: Comparative Family Structures 

    How do American marriage customs compare with those of Turkish villagers? Go to the site Social Organization in a Turkish Village for a concise summary of the marriage customs of Turkish villagers. You will find information on the marriage customs of Turkish villagers that was collected by the late Canadian anthropologist Paul Stirling. Stirling made numerous trips to Turkey from the 1950s till the early 1990s describing two Turkish villages that he investigated in depth. To learn the marriage customs of Turkish villagers you will need to click the buttons for  Chapter 9 to find all the material presented. If you come across some unfamiliar terms like endogamy or parallel cousin marriage, check your textbook to get more information about the meaning of these concepts. For the first assignment your task will be to compare and contrast marriage patterns of Turkish villagers with that of Americans marrying today. First, from the material offered at this Web site, prepare a concise description of how Turkish villagers marry. Then, covering the same issues and from your knowledge of these things in America, explain how a typical middle-class couple would go about forming a marital union. From what you present, also offer some speculation on how lasting Turkish and American marriages will be and explain why you have arrived at your interpretation.

    A second project will be to review how marrying customs for Turkish villagers may be different today from the way they were when Paul Stirling first described marriage patterns there. Stirling offered some information on how village life and marriage was changing in a section found at this site entitled Notes and Advice for the Database. You will have to consult other bibliographic sources to better understand how Turkish village marriage customs may be changing and evolving today. Consult the advice for on-line bibliographic searches given in Chapter 2 for assistance on completing this assignment.

Project 6: Marriage and Family Changes in the United States

    Marriage in America and in most other postindustrial societies isn’t what it used to be. We’ve all heard about our rising divorce rates. Have divorce rates risen steadily over the past twenty-five to thirty years? What other changes have been taking place in our marriage customs—whether we get married at all, whether we have smaller families and whether more couples choose to remain childless, whether we get married later in life, whether more couples have cohabitation relationships prior to marriage, whether it is now more acceptable for gay couples to form lasting unions, or other changes?

     To examine these questions the General Social Survey with its yearly or bi-yearly surveys of our adult population can be very helpful.

     First, let’s go to the GSS data analysis site at the University of California, Berkeley.  Choose the Frequencies or Crosstabulation option and click on the Start button. Enter DIVORCE as your selected Row variable. Next, enter YEAR as the Column variable choice. We will collapse the long list of yearly surveys by applying a command to code the data into a shorter list of combined categories. Use the syntax below to code year as it is shown here:

YEAR (r:1972-1974;1975-1977;1978-1982;1983-1985;1986-1988;1989-1990;1991-1993;1994-1996;1998-2000)

    Last, mark the boxes requesting Column percentages, Color coding, and to show the Question text; then press the Run the Table button. If you are not sure about what to do, look at the following layout carefully. Due to the small box size of the Column variable, you only see YEAR (r:1972-1974;1975-1977;1978-1982;1983-1985;1986-1988;1989-1999.  Actually the correct syntax should be YEAR (r:1972-1974;1975-1977;1978-1982;1983-1985;1986-1988;1989-1990;1991-1993;1994-1996;1998-2000).

    Interpreting this data, does it show a steady rate of divorce over the period, or a falling or increasing pattern? And are there any points of sharp rises or falls? Discuss this result in detail.

     Next, let’s us investigate whether marriage rates are changing any over time. Here, the appropriate row variable to insert will be MARITAL. You will need to code this variable as follows: marital (r:1-4"All others”;5 “Never Married”). You will apply the same year code command and the same set of additional commands to plot the pattern of people never marrying over the twenty-four year period of the surveys.  Now, let’s go the GSS data analysis site again. Choose the Frequencies or crosstabulation option and click on the Start button. Enter MARITAL (r:1-4"All others";5 "Never Married") as your selected Row variable. Type YEAR (r:1972-1974;1975-1977;1978-1982;1983-1985;1986-1988;1989-1990;1991-1993;1994-1996;1998-2000) as your selected Column variable.

    Last, mark the boxes requesting Column percentages, Color coding, and to show the Question text; then press the Run the Table button. Again, if you are not sure what to do for this exercise, check out the following syntax layout.

 

      Interpreting this data, does it show a steady or constant rate of remaining unmarried over the period, or a falling or increasing pattern? And, are there any points of sharp rises or falls? Discuss this result in depth.

      Next, let’s investigate the ages when people marry to see if any shifts upward or downward in ages at first marriage have occurred.  The variable for age at first marriage is AGEWED. You will need to code this variable, too. Do it as follows:

AGEWED (r:12-20;21-24;25-29;30-35;36-73)

    Next, you will apply the same year code command and same set of additional commands to plot the pattern of ages of first marriages over the period of surveys.  Do you need to see how it is done? Well, if you do, it is shown below.  By this time, we hope that you feel comfortable analyzing GSS.

       Interpreting this data, does it show any change in when people marry, at younger or older ages, or at any points in between in the age categories that we have established? And are there any points of sharp rise or fall when people started to marry later or earlier in life during this twenty-four year period? Discuss this result in depth, too.

     Next, let us examine the matter of having children. Are people having bigger or smaller families today than they did twenty-four years ago? Click here to go to the GSS data analysis site again. Choose the Frequencies or crosstabulation option and click on the Start button. Use the variable CHILDS to do this analysis. This code will also be necessary: CHILDS (r:0;1;2;3-8). Put CHILDS (r:0;1;2;3-8) into the Row box. Next, you will apply the same year code command and same set of additional commands to plot the pattern of child bearing over the period of surveys.    

    Interpreting this data, does it show any change in the numbers of children people are having now? Are more people not having children today? Are larger families becoming more passé? Is it more acceptable for people today to have a single child? And what change has taken place in the practice of having two children? Discuss this result in depth.

    Another issue of interest to us in understanding contemporary families is whether homosexuality and homosexual unions have become more acceptable than they were in earlier times. To examine this question you will need to use the variable HOMOSEX. Next, apply the same year code command and same set of additional commands to plot the pattern of attitudinal acceptance of homosexuality over the period of surveys. Pay particular attention to the responses of “not wrong at all” and “always wrong.” Have there been any changes showing greater acceptance of homosexuality? Are there any points of sharply rising acceptance of gays, has it been a slow, steady change, or has it been flat over the period? Discuss this result in depth. Make sure you go to the GSS data analysis site first. Choose the Frequencies or crosstabulation option and click on the Start button. Use HOMOSEX as your Row variable and YEAR (r:1972-1974;1975-1977;1978-1982;1983-1985;1986-1988;1989-1990;1991-1993;1994-1996;1998-2000) as your selected Column variable.

   A final issue we will explore here with the GSS data is acceptance of cohabitation before marriage. The Row variable to insert is COHABIT, which asked respondents whether they had ever lived with their spouse prior to getting married. Only two previous surveys had asked respondents about their cohabitation experiences prior to marriage, 1987 and 1994; therefore, will not be necessary to code the year variable. Examine whether any changes in cohabitation occurred over this seven-year time period.

     An additional question to investigate about cohabitation is whether it is a class-related behavior. To answer this question insert COHABIT as the Row variable and put CLASS in as the Column variable. Comment on whether there is a pattern showing class-related differences in cohabitation.

    A final question to assess is whether there has been any increased acceptance of cohabitation prior to marriage among the various classes between the survey years 1987 and 1994. Do the working classes or the middle classes now accept cohabitation to any greater extent than they did formerly? This is an interesting question to explore, because if such a trend was noted it could portend a broad base shift in marriage practices taking place. To do the necessary calculations, you will need to pool together the number of different class subgroups. (The numbers of cases of each of the four categories are somewhat few.) Coding will enable us to create a combined group of working- and lower-class members to be contrasted against those identifying themselves with middle- and upper-class membership. The code command for class is as follows: CLASS (r: 1-2"working"; 3-4"middle"). Remember to put COHABIT in as the Row variable, YEAR as the Column variable, and the coded CLASS variable in as the Control variable. Have both groups remained the same in their acceptance of cohabitation over this period? Have the working classes increased their acceptance of cohabitation? Or have the middle classes done so to a greater extent? Discuss these findings and refer back to the original question posed.  To make sure you can answer this complicated question, one last syntax is shown below.

    

    The very last part of this assignment calls for you to compare and contrast these GSS-based findings with what your textbook authors have presented on recent American family changes. Do all the things they present reconcile with the data that you have interpreted here? Discuss all convergences and divergences. 

Project 7: Documentary Film Analysis Project

For this assignment you will see any of the films suggested below: 51 Birch Street, Bowling for Columbine, Capturing The Friedmans, Darwin's Nightmare, Sicko, or Murder on a Sunday Morning which may be found at film rental companies around Long Island, like Blockbuster's, Netflicks or at the NCC media library. After viewing whichever film you select, summarize it and evaluate its contribution to a better understanding of American society, human interrelationships or the specific subject matter it addresses: like crime and violence, health problems or race and ethnic relationships. If you wish to consult other source materials about the film contents you are encouraged to do so, but please make sure to cite this in your report. All reports should be about two to three typewritten pages.