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Don't panic: Social Research

The Psyc/Soc Student's Guide to Fourth Year by Hope Christie and Karl Johnson

Social research on university students

There's an interesting side-line in what you might call 'the field of students'.  Well... we think it's interesting anyway...  Here's a brief run-down of a few academic papers which may help you understand and/or account for your university experience, or inspire your own research projects.

A vicious cycle appears to have existed of disinterested sociology students, who become academics lacking quantitative skills, who go on to generally omit it from future undergraduate teaching.  Confidence in a varied set of research skills is necessary.

Findings suggest that a greater level of personal maturity, and less outside influence on your sense of self-worth, help you adjust to campus life and maintain optimism.  Feeling 'older than your years' may, however, also lead to riskier behaviour.

Using education as a means of social mobility can be part of a positive development into independence and adulthood, bringing some of the increased social and cultural capital associated with middle-class life.  however, there may be tension as previous networks and status are lost as a result.

Focus groups and interviews discuss experiences of problematic 'lad' behaviour on campus, and the will and agency involved in respondents objecting to such actions.  Critically engaging with such issues more at an institutional level is supported.