Sociology Data Lab (SDL)

Sociology Data Lab

Sociology Data Lab (SDL) is a research laboratory focused on quantitative methodologies in social research at the Department of Sociology, Boğaziçi University. Research projects at SDL include a wide array of subjects some of which are population studies, gender and sexuality, public health, and public opinion research. Alongside with classical survey studies, SDL aims to extend its borders of operations to newly emerging methodologies and study areas such as social network analysis, computational sociology, and agent-based social modeling.

Studies at the SDL are designed to:

  • Understand and interpret the changing dynamics in the social structure as well as social-political values and attitudes primarily in Turkish society.
  • Offer nationally representative data that are generalizable to the Turkish public with the use of cross-sectional design.
  • Create a community where researchers, academics, students, media, governmental institutions, NGOs, and policy makers can benefit from quantitative research.
  • Disseminate topline results to the wider general public.

SDL also prioritizes providing graduate and undergraduate students hands-on experiences with research processes including survey design, sampling, quantitative measurement, literature review and data analysis. In this respect, SDL aims to create a supportive environment for students interested in applying quantitative methods and research skills in real-world research efforts.

SDL also cooperates with international research communities and institutions for research projects and facilitates workshops regarding subjects of interest. In these workshops, experts on ongoing studies share their knowledge and experience.

Projects at SDL

Turkey Covid-19 Values Study (TCVS)

The Principal Investigator of the project TCVS, Dr. Ceylan Engin conducts this survey-based research to investigate how Turkey’s demographic and social fabric have been changing over the time of the pandemic. More specifically, the project explores Turkish individuals’ value change in the major areas of fertility and family, gender, institutional trust and vaccination. In the long run, the research agenda of SDL includes establishing a cross-sectional database based on an optimally designed survey for Turkish context.

International cooperation and research are a strong part of this project. TCVS makes it possible to conduct cross-national comparisons with Europe for various modules, contributing to the newly emerging international literature. Overall, this project will contribute to explaining new problems that are faced in society, by studying population processes and value change in the Turkish context.

The project also augments the exposure of our students to quantitative sociological research. Interested students are able to access the novel data for personal research intents, including the possibility of thesis writing for our MA students.

The Varieties of Nationalism Study

The Varieties of Nationalism Study aims to understand how “the nation” is understood among the Turkish populace. More specifically, the project explores the microfoundations of nationalist attitudes, asking whether and why nationalism has qualitatively distinct forms in the public opinion field. The Principal Investigator of the project, Dr. Tuna Kuyucu, along with Turgut Keskintürk (Duke University), conducts a nationally representative survey as part of this project.

Using a variety of statistical procedures (including, but not limited to, structural equation and mixture models), the project aims to show that (a) there are distinct and empirically identifiable nationalist classes in Turkey, (b) these classes are differentiated according to the class members’ social network compositions and key psychological metrics, and (c) this classification has relevance for understanding political opinion and behavior among the Turkish population.

In the long run, the project aims to expand this work to understand the public opinion field in Turkey, with particular emphasis on political and economic belief systems.