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David Cunningham


Pearlman  211

Applied Research Methods

Professor David Cunningham (Sociology)

Professor David Cunningham (Sociology)

"Ours is a small research-based class. Over the course of the semester, students are working together to construct a database and to begin to analyze that data. Each student will be working on a particular institution tied to Civil Rights-era Mississippi and will be trying to capture the degree to which African-Americans were vulnerable to social control through that institution. To do that, they will be compiling data but also must be very knowledgeable about the historical context.

"Our work with the latter was centered on two monographs. To distill key themes out of these texts, we began with in-class exercises to draw out themes from selected passages and to catalog related themes from the texts generally. In a follow-up exercise, the students worked in groups to compile themes on the board and then draw arrows to 'map' causal relations between the themes. Ideally, this work provides a foundation for a 5-page historical review, which in turn serves as the basis for their later extended institutional study assignment." —Professor David Cunningham

Writing Assignments

  • Institutional Study (doc)
  • Institutional Study with Further Analysis (doc)

In-Class Exercises

  •  Lesson plan on improving theses (doc)
  •  Lesson plan on identifying themes (doc)
  •  Lesson plan on creating thematic maps (doc)
  •  Lesson plan on using theory as a "lens" (doc)