Skip to main content

PRLS Dept | PRLS Facebook @PRLS.BC | Brooklyn Library

PRLS 3340: Critical Research Methods in Puerto Rican & LatinX Studies: Home

Prof. Ortíz-Minaya

Professor

Reynaldo Ortíz-Minaya

Instructor: Reynaldo Ortíz-Minaya, Ph.D.
Email: r.ortiz-minaya@brooklyn.cuny.edu
Class Meets: Tues & Thurs 11am-12.15pm

General Note

If at any time during the course, you feel overwhelmed or you feel like you do not understand what we are doing in class, please come and see me as soon as possible. If you are unhappy with your grades, I would be happy to talk with you about what you need to do to improve your grade. However, my office hours are not a time for you to try to negotiate grades that have already been assigned. This is unfair to other students. If an illness prevents you from attending class, I encourage you to obtain notes from another student in the class. I also encourage you to contact me as soon as you can to learn of any updates in the course.

Syllabus

Required Readings

Recommended Reading

  • Domhoff, William G. 2010. Who Rules America? The Triumph of the Corporate Rich. New York, NY: Mc Graw Hill.

Course Information

Course Bulletin Description:

"Examine critical research issues in Puerto Rican and Latinx studies. Introduce students to a variety of ways of thinking about “knowledge" and to specific ways of knowing and making arguments in Puerto Rican and Latinx studies using key humanistic, social science, and "interdisciplinary methodologies."

Course Description

How do we study U.S. Latino and Caribbean populations and cultures? Some read literature, watch a film, read a history book… and others conduct interviews, do field work to identify and describe social and cultural practices, or collect oral histories and traditions. Are you interested in learning how to use different sources and methods to learn more about ethnic communities in the United States? What is the contribution of ethnic studies to our knowledge about migrant and underrepresented populations and their cultural manifestations? This class is a basic introduction to cultural and social science research methods with a focus on Caribbean and Latino Studies. Course includes library workshops, and class visits by professors and students who will discuss how they use different methods in their research and teaching.

Furthermore, the course will introduce you to the research process, including how researchers select topics, formulate research questions, design research, and analyze and interpret data. It will explore differences in how these issues present themselves and are addressed in designs that are quantitative, qualitative or both.

Objectives of this course:

  • Upon completion of the course, you will be able to identify a research question and produce a research proposal with a hypothesis.
  • Identify and evaluate the appropriate methods and methodology for your research question.
  • Complete a literature review addressing your chosen theme.
  • Question and conduct preliminary primary research.
  • Write a research paper presenting a research question and considering at least 3 different approaches to your research.

Learning Objectives:

  • LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1: Familiarize yourself with the main questions scholars consider when designing social research.
  • LEARNING OBJECTIVES 2: Familiarize yourself with both qualitative and quantitative research processes.
  • LEARNING OBJECTIVES 3: Familiarize yourself with a range of research design options for social research.
  • LEARNING OBJECTIVES 4: Develop yourself ability to interpret social research critically.
  • Class Participation 20%
  • Identify a problem (200 words), Week 2 10%
  • Identify a hypothesis (500 words), Week 3 10%
  • Annotated Bibliography, Week 10  20%
  • Final Research Paper, Week 15  40%

Attendance/Participation (20% of Final Grade)

Participation grades are based on qualitative assessment of YOUR contribution to class discussions. You are expected to come to class having already read assigned course materials for that week and demonstrate familiarity with assigned readings and critical thinking ability. You will also have several opportunities to participate in other ways, such as through Blackboard. I also reserve the right to give any number of pop quizzes throughout the semester. These will be factored into your participation grade. You should have nothing to fear if you come to class prepared on a regular basis.

Class Participation

Please come to class prepared to participate in informed discussion of assigned readings and to engage actively in the in-class activities designed to help you apply what we are learning to a research project of interest to you. You will also be assigned to an on-call group which will be responsible for re-calling and discussing a particular reading. The reading for which your group is responsible will be listed on the syllabus and the day that reading is covered will be posted on blackboard. On those days, please come prepared for me to “call on” you to discuss the reading.

Expectations regarding work outside the classroom

This course is a 4-credit course, which means that in addition to the scheduled meeting times, students are expected to do at least 12-13 hours of course-related work outside of class each week during the semester. This includes time spent completing assigned readings and studying related tasks.

CUNY Policies

The Center for Student Disability Services is working remotely at this time.  Please email them at testingcsds@brooklyn.cuny.edu for assistance.

Students should inform the professor if they have a disability or any other situation that may require Section 504/ADA accommodations.  The faculty and staff will attempt to work out whatever arrangements are necessary.

Please provide me with your course accommodation form and discuss your specific accommodation with me as soon as possible to ensure accommodations are met in a timely fashion.

In order to receive academic accommodations students must first be registered with the Center for Student Disability Services. Students who have a documented disability or who suspect that they might have a disability are invited to set up an appointment with the Director of the Center for Student Disability Services, Ms. Valerie Stewart-Lovell or the Assistant Director, Josephine Patterson or their general email testingcsds@brooklyn.cuny.edu

  • The faculty and administration of Brooklyn College support an environment free from cheating and plagiarism.
  • Each student is responsible for being aware of what constitutes cheating and plagiarism and for avoiding both.
  • View complete text of CUNY Academic Integrity Policy and Brooklyn College procedure for policy implementation.
  • If a faculty member suspects a violation of academic integrity and, upon investigation, confirms that violation, or if the student admits the violation, the faculty member must report the violation.
  • Please read the section entitled “Academic Regulations and Procedures” in the Brooklyn College Undergraduate Bulletin or Graduate Bulletin for a complete listing of academic regulations of the College.

Bereavement Policy:

  • Students who experience the death of a loved one must contact the Division of Student Affairs, 2113 Boylan Hall, if they wish to implement either the Standard Bereavement Procedure or the Leave of Absence Bereavement Procedure. The Division of Student Affairs has the right to request a document that verifies the death (e.g., a funeral program or death notice). Contact Email: studentaffairs@brooklyn.cuny.edu
  • Typically, this death involves that of a family member, in parallel to the bereavement policy for faculty and staff. However, it is up to the discretion of the Division of Student Affairs to determine if a death outside of the immediate family warrants implementation of the student bereavement policy.
  •  As an option, and in consultation with the Division of Student Affairs, students may take the Leave of Absence Bereavement after the Standard Bereavement.
  • Reference to the Student Bereavement Policies will be noted on course syllabi.
  • Students requesting a religious accommodation should contact the Division of Student Affairs as well. The chief student affairs officer, or a designee, and the student will engage in an interactive process with the goal of finding an acceptable accommodation.

Bereavement Procedure:

  • Upon approval from the Division of Student Affairs, the student is allowed one week, commencing from the day of notification to the Division of Student Affairs, of excused absence.
  • Should the student feel that he/she needs additional days, these should be discussed with individual course instructors and/or the Division of Student Affairs.
  • The Division of Student Affairs will contact the student’s faculty and academic staff of the student’s courses.
  • Faculty and academic staff will be advised that extensions must be granted to the student for the period of one week of excused absence.
  • Further extensions may be negotiated with the student when he or she returns to campus.
  • Students are encouraged to discuss options with their instructors.

Leave of Absence Bereavement Procedure:

  • Students may be allowed to withdraw from the semester in which the death occurs.
  • The Bereavement Leave of Absence is for one semester only.
  • Students who have opted to take the Bereavement Leave of Absence and have already attended classes for the semester of the leave will be allowed to re-enter the following semester without having to reapply to the college.
  • Students who wish to take the leave of absence prior to the beginning of the semester will be required to reapply for the following semester.
  • Students who are in good academic standing will be given the opportunity to successfully complete the credits for the semester in which they return.
  • Students will consult with the Division of Student Affairs, on a case-by-case basis, as to whether they should withdraw from their courses during this leave of absence or to request incompletes from the faculty member.
  •  Given that there may be a potential impact on financial aid, students who receive financial aid and who take the Bereavement Leave of Absence, upon arrangement with the Division of Student Affairs, will meet with a financial aid adviser prior to taking this option.
  • The New York State Education Law provides that no student shall be expelled or refused admission to an institution of higher education because he or she is unable to attend classes or participate in examinations or study or work requirements on any particular day or days because of religious beliefs.
  • Students who are unable to attend classes on a particular day or days because of religious beliefs will be excused from any examination or study or work requirements.
  • Faculty must make good-faith efforts to provide students absent from class because of religious beliefs equivalent opportunities to make up the work missed; no additional fees may be charged for this consideration.
  • If classes, examinations, or study or work requirements occur on Friday after 4 p.m. or on Saturday, similar or makeup classes, examinations, or study or work requirements will be made available on other days, where possible and practical.
  • The faculty and the administration will not allow any adverse or prejudicial effects to accrue to students availing themselves of this regulation.
  • If students have complaints about the application of this policy, they are entitled to bring action or a proceeding for enforcement of their rights in the Supreme Court of Kings County
Number-letter grade equivalents
Numerical grade Letter Grade
97-100 A+
93-96.9 A
90-92.9 A-
87-89.9 B+
83-86.9 B
80-82.9 B-
77-79.9 C+
73-76.9 C
70-72.9 C-
67-69.9 D+
63-66.9 D
60-62.9 D-
Below 60 F

 

Helpful Information on Accessing Resources Remotely

To access some items you need to login with your Brooklyn College ID and others you will need to enter a password given to you by your professor.

The following icons will let you know what you will need to do to access the items. 

If an item has no icon, then you don't need to do anything to access it.

Off-campus iconOff-campus access. You will be prompted to enter your Brooklyn College ID and login.

Password protected iconPassword protected item.  You will be prompted to enter the password given to you by your Professor.

Need assistance with off-campus access? Go to the library's Library Remote Access page for assistance and instructions.

The Brooklyn College Library's electronic resources (e.g. journals, ebooks, databases, etc.) are available to registered students, faculty, and staff when off-campus, including while abroad. If you would like to connect from off-campus, you will need to login.

Brooklyn College remote access login page screen grab.

STUDENTS: User ID:

  • User ID = your 8-digit CUNY EmpID
  • Password format = FLMM/DD/YY
    • FL = your CUNYfirst official First and Last initials (upper case)
    • MM/DD/YY = your 6-digit birthday with the SLASHES

Example: If your name is Jalil Doe and your birthday is November 21, 1998, your password would be JD11/21/98

FACULTY and STAFF User ID:

Use your BC email user name (before the @) and password

If you need further assistance with off-campus access go to the library's Ask a Librarian page or the Library Remote Access pages.

 

Free New York Times Digital subscription

Several articles for this course are from the New York Times.  All CUNY members are eligible and encouraged to sign up for a free CUNY New York Times digital account. The CUNY account entitles all people with cuny.edu email to acquire a subscription to the digital NYTimes. Once an account is created, access is available from anywhere with a NYTimes login.

Anyone who initiates an account will have an active subscription for one year from the date she/he creates the account. If  you already have an annual subscription to the NYTimes, you can cancel it and will receive a refund. However, if you only have a monthly subscription, the New York Times will not issue a refund for that month.
To sign-up for an account go to: Welcome to The New York Times page