Honors | Constructing the Family
H304 | 10275 | Brian Powell

Meeting times to be announced (mostly in the evenings)
contact Professor Powell 855-7624 or powell@indiana.edu

How do Americans define the family?  What are Americans’ views
regarding same-sex marriage? Cohabitation? Adoption? Maternity and
paternity leave? In this course, students will have a unique
opportunity to address these and other issues by being part of a
research team conducting phone interviews in the “Constructing the
Family, 2006” national project.

This course will have three key components:

Occasional in-class sessions in which we discuss ongoing debates
regarding families (e.g., the debate over same-sex marriage; views
regarding the relative influence of genetics, parenting, and other
environmental factors on children’s development; division of labor
in the home) and discuss how research can help inform the debate.

Hands-on experience in the collection of data (in this case,
conducting national interviews). Students will be given extensive
interview training by the Center of Survey Research, my graduate
students, and me (note: this training will be on the weekend
immediately preceding the first week of the first summer session)
and then will be scheduled to conduct phone interviews
(approximately 4-5 sessions a week).

(Optional) Hands-on experience analyzing data. Students will be
given a portion of these data (or similar data) to analyze a series
of questions that they are especially interested in.  Some data will
be quantitative (i.e., closed-ended questions), which will allow
students interested in developing statistical skill to do so; other
data will be qualitative (i.e., open-ended questions) and will give
students the opportunity to do explore more discursive analysis.
Students will work with me and three advanced graduate students in
this process.  My primary goal here is to get students “hooked” into
doing research. So my hope is that some (most) students will become
so interested that they’d be interested in presenting their analyses
at an undergraduate conference or a professional meeting.

Please contact Professor Powell (855-7624 or powell@indiana.edu) if
you have any questions.