Social Sciences

Voices of California research project of Penelope Eckert, Professor of Linguistics. Linda A. Cicero, Stanford News Service.
  • Understand that within the social sciences there are a range of different approaches to the study of a particular topic.  Your own project ideas may borrow characteristics from the sciences, the humanities, or both. 
  • Qualitative methods in the social sciences are, at their core, scientific methods.  Consider a course or courses that will introduce you to topics such as survey design, interview methodology, and ethnography. 
  • The ideal mentor will have expertise in the community, field site, or social phenomenon on which you're focusing, as well as the specific methods you're likely to use.  You may decide to leverage the expertise of multiple mentors to get assistance with all the different dimensions of your project. 
  • Consider visiting the Social Science Data and Software office in Green Library to learn more about the array of datasets and the kinds of analytical tools that can help you structure your study.