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Social sciences and social surveys


Public, Prospective Undergraduates

Series: ESRC Festival of Social Science

The annual Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Festival of Social Science runs from 3-10 November 2018 and includes over 300 events across the UK. With everything from film screenings, exhibitions, workshops and walks to debates and hands-on experiences, there are events suitable for all ages and all walks of life.

A Festival of Social Science event aimed at young people is being held by the European Social Survey (ESS) and Quantitative (Q)-Step Centre - both based in the City, University of London Sociology department - on Wednesday 7 November.

The ESS has been conducted every two years across Europe since 2002 to measure the attitudes, beliefs and behaviour patterns of diverse populations in more than 30 nations. It answers questions such as: How have attitudes to migration and minority groups changed in different countries? What are people’s political beliefs, and - most recently - how have people’s attitudes to climate and global warming changed over time?

This interactive workshop will teach local schoolchildren, sixth form students and those interested in the social sciences about how researchers go about designing and delivering such a large-scale social survey. The one-hour questionnaire used by ESS has been translated into several languages since the first wave was implemented in 2002, and is given to approximately 2,000 respondents in each country.

As survey methodologists, the researchers will introduce students to concepts of survey data collection, including representative sampling (to ensure that all types of people are accurately represented); ensuring accurate translation; modes of fieldwork collection (why people are asked the questions in person and not online); and how data is weighted to ensure that it reflects the demographics of each country.

The workshop will also examine why non-representative survey data collection - specifically data collected through social media polls and online survey platforms - can be problematic. The session will culminate in two practical activities where the pupils will design and implement their own survey and learn how to analyse the ESS dataset.

The UK has a shortage of social scientists trained in data skills. By introducing these methods to young people, we hope to promote the study of social sciences in a fun and engaging way.

This event is aimed at schoolchildren, sixth form students and anyone who has an interest in studying sociology at City, University of London.

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When & where

3.00pm - 4.00pmWednesday 7th November 2018

C309 Tait Building City, University of London Northampton Square London EC1V 0HB United Kingdom

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Social sciences and social surveys

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