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Social and Political Sciences Tripos: Notices

The Faculty Board regret to announce a correction to the list of papers available for 2004. Please note that Psy. 4, A Subject in Psychology I: Current Issues in Social Psychology, will be available as from 2004 and not as from 2005 as appeared on p. 963 of the Reporter, 2002-03.

The Faculty Board also regret to announce that the wrong list of titles was published for Int. 5 in the Reporter of 15 October 2003 (p. 58). The following list is the correct one:

Int. 5: An interdisciplinary subject - Gender and society

1. What evidence is there to support the claim that gender equality has progressed faster in the public domain than in the private domain, over the past half century in Britain?
2. Why is there so little consensus in social research concerning the importance of fathers for children's well-being?
3. To what extent can differences in psychological performance between boys and girls be informative about the psychology of gender?
4. How have social psychologists sought to distinguish between sex and gender, and how successful have they been?
5. Describe and analyse the differences and similarities between the concept of 'gender' and the concept of 'sexual difference'.
6. Consider critically the use of psychoanalytic theory by either Feminism or gender studies or both.
7. A considerable number of books and articles have the title 'What does a woman want?' Why has this simple question (asked by Freud) become so important?
8. The categories of 'sameness' and 'difference' have supplanted the calls for 'equality'. Why and with what effect?
9. Discuss the political use of fiction by at least two feminist writers.
10. Discuss the distinction between the public and private spheres in the work of one or more feminist thinkers.
11. Communism aimed to solve 'the woman question'. To what extent and how did state socialism redefine gender? Discuss in relation to one or more countries of the former Soviet Bloc.
12. What have been the implications for gender, and for feminism, of the changes that have been taking place in former Soviet Bloc countries since 1990?
13. How important are inheritance laws in determining the position of women in a society?
14. What is the impact of globalization and the global value chain on the employment of men and women in the developing world?
The following comprises a list of titles for Int. 1A and Int. 1B assignments.

Int. 1A and Int. 1B: Enquiry and analysis I


1. What are the strengths and weaknesses of ethnography as a method of social research?
2. How might the criticisms relating to qualitative research being 'unreliable' be tackled?
3. What are the key elements of a successful experiment?
4. 'Given the messiness and inconsistencies of the social world the unstructured interview is one of the most useful methods for the social sciences.' Discuss.
5. What are the prizes and pitfalls of applying observational methods to studies of young children?
6. Assess critically the contribution of at least two studies in oral history OR two studies using personal documents.
7. Discuss best practice in questionnaire design with respect to measures of attitudes and behaviour.
8. What methodologies have proven useful in informing evidence based policy and why?
9. Assess the problem of equivalence in cross-national survey research, with reference to at least two studies.
10. If methodology is a means to an end, what guides methodological choice?


1. Are realists justified in attributing such importance to ontology?
OR does critical realism provide a convincing account of the possibility of naturalism?
2. What, if anything, can social scientists learn from Popper?
3. Why is it difficult to stipulate ethical rules for social research?

Data analysis

1. Using the 2000 BHPS Youth Survey data examine one of the following:
(a) the relation between gender, age, and young people's attitudes
(b) the relation between gender, age, and risk behaviours
(c) the relation between attitudes and risk behaviours
2. Using the European working Conditions Survey (2000-01) explore the differences in one domain of work or non-work between the existing EU countries and the applicant countries.


1. The science of well-being: positive psychology and its application.
2. Older workers, inequality, and employment
3. Working conditions and health
4. Attitudes and values concerning personal finance
5. The meanings and connotations of 'entrepreneurship' in the UK and USA
6. National identity and elite young Muslims
7. Psychological underpinnings of values
8. Projection in social judgments: the influence of the Self on our understanding of others
9. Mother-toddler conflict in single vs 2-parent families
10. Early parenthood - where's the risk?
11. Sibling relationships and fledgling theory of mind skills
12. Gender differences in toddlers' interactions with peers
13. Cultural resources in transitions to adulthood
14. Differing life and career plans of male and female students
15. Religious behaviour, religious attitudes, religious movements
16. Sibling relationships
17. Sociology of science/knowledge
18. An ethnography of an organization
19. Sociology of Islam
20. Citizenship (including voluntary associations and community enterprise)
21. Medical sociology (including the sociology of the body)
22. Oral histories of Cambridge
23. Learning disabilities and social rights

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Cambridge University Reporter, 12 November 2003
Copyright © 2011 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge.