Module 2 Assignment: Utilizing Secondary Research

Background: For many sociology students (and sociologists), secondary research can seem like the most “boring” research method; however, as we saw with Emile Durkheim’s early work on suicide using secondary data (death records), we are able to glean a great deal from utilizing existing statistical information.

STEP 1: Look at the bivariate (2 variable) table below. This comes from the Social Science Data Analysis Network (SSDAN) and is comprised of data from the American Community Survey (ACS), an annual Census-like survey.

Income Less Than High School High School Grads Some College College Grads Total
< 25K 49.6% 33.1% 24.1% 10.1% 23.2%
25-34K 21.6% 21.3% 18.6% 8.2% 15.7%
35-49K 15.8% 21.4% 22.3% 16.5% 19.4%
50-69K 8.1% 14.3% 18.2% 20.4% 17.2%
70-99K 3.2% 6.7% 10.8% 19.4% 12.3%
100K+ 1.7% 3.2% 6% 25.4% 12%
Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

STEP 2: Identify the independent variable and the dependent variable that could be tested based on this graph.

STEP 3: Summarize the bivariate table by making at least 3 TRUE statements about the variables using the data (the percentages) provided.

STEP 4: Use your sociological imagination to analyze the data. This should be a minimum of 2-3 sentences.

STEP 5: What policy recommendations would you make based on the data? This should be a minimum of 2-3 sentences.


Criteria Rating Points
Variables Correctly identifies possible independent and dependent variables based on the data Only partially identifies correct IV and DV. Does not correctly identify independent and dependent variables __/4
Data summary Writes 3 accurate statements based on the data Writes 2 statements based on the data Writes 1 or less statements about the data __/9
Analysis and recommendations Analyzes data and makes appropriate policy recommendations Partially analyzes data and makes appropriate policy recommendations Does not analyze data or make appropriate policy recommendations __/7
Total: __/20