Exercise 1: Getting Started

Now it is time to formally begin your investigation. This exercise will introduce you to some of the quantitative social science evidence presented in Bowling Alone and teach you how to search codebooks, and how to run frequencies and summary statistics using SDA.

A. Reading

B. Learning and Practicing: Searching Codebooks

  • Learn how to search codebooks for variables

  • Practice open in new window searching the DDB codebook for the variable "Went to a club meeting" (CLUBMEET)

  • Answer Questions 4-5

C. Learning and Practicing: Running and Interpreting Frequencies, Bar Charts, and Summary Statistics

Turn to the bottom of page 59 in Bowling Alone where Putnam writes, "In 1987, 61 percent of all organization members had served on a committee at some time or other, and 46 percent had served as an officer." You can reproduce or replicate WIKI Link these percentages.

  • Practice open in new window searching the GSS codebook for variables about serving on a committee and as an officer. To do this, follow the same logic that you learned above about searching the DDB codebook.

  • Learn how to run and interpret frequencies

  • Practice open in new window running a frequency on "Has R served as officer in group?" (LEADGRP)

  • Answer Questions 6-7

On page 60, Putnam writes "In twenty-five annual surveys between 1975 and 1999 the DDB Needham Lifestyle surveys asked more than eighty-seven thousand Americans 'How many times in the last year did you attend a club meeting?'"

  • Practice open in new window searching the DDB codebook for this variable and running a frequency on this variable

  • Learn how to run and interpret a frequency and summary statistics on club meeting attendance for 1987

  • Practice open in new window running a frequency on club meeting attendance for a year other than 1987

  • Answer Questions 8-9

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