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Social and Political Sciences Tripos, Part IIA, 2001: Notice

The Faculty Board of Social and Political Sciences give notice that the following essay titles have been prescribed for Paper Int. 1 in Part IIA of the Social and Political Sciences Tripos in 2001 (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 386: New Regulations).

Int. 1. Inquiry and analysis I

1. The following three publications use very different methods to explore racism. Select any pair of them and, drawing upon the methods literature, compare and contrast the research methods they employ, and the ethical issues that arise out of the research.

(a) Word, C. O., Zanna, M. P., and Cooper, J. (1974). 'The non-verbal mediation of self-fulfilling prophecies in interracial interaction', Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 10, 109-20.

(b) Griffin, J. H. (1971). Black like me (various publishers).

(c) Bobo, L. (1988). 'Attitudes toward the black political movement: trends, meaning, and effects on racial policy preferences', Social Psychology Quarterly, 51, 4, 287-302.

2. The following four pieces of research all investigated reasons that unemployment is detrimental to psychological wellbeing. Drawing upon the methods literature, examine the strengths and weakness of any two of these approaches.

(a) Payne, R. L. and Jones, J. G. (1987). 'Social class and re-employment: changes in health and perceived financial circumstances', Journal of Occupational Behaviour, 8, 175-84.

(b) Gershuny, J. (1993). 'The psychological consequences of unemployment: an assessment of the Jahoda thesis', in Gallie, D., Marsh, C., and Vogler, C. (Eds.), Social Change and the Experience of Unemployment (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

(c) Fryer D. M. and Payne R. L. (1984). 'Proactivity in unemployment: findings and implications', Leisure Studies, 3, 273-95.

(d) Fineman, S. (1983). White collar unemployment: Impact and stress (Chichester, Wiley).

3. Compare falsificationism and realism. Assess their significance and validity for methodological concerns in the social sciences.

The following statistical assignments for Paper Int. 1 have also been set:

Using the 1996 European Working Conditions Survey, explore the relationships between (i) gender, country, health and (ii) unpleasant or hazardous working conditions.

Using the 1996 British Household Panel Youth Survey, explore the relationship between gender, age, and young people's attitudes to school and/or job aspirations.

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Cambridge University Reporter, 8 November 2000