Click on the following links. Please note these will open in a new window.

The Gender Pay Gap

The Gender Pay Gap allows students to apply secondary research analysis skills by looking at data from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Using Table 39: Median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by detailed occupation and sex, students will investigate the differences in weekly earnings between men and women. Students will then discuss disadvantages with secondary data analysis and possible reasons for the persistent wage gap between men and women.

Technique 47: Race/Ethnicity, Social Construction, Social Location, Secondary Data

Teaching Objectives/Student Learning Outcomes: To enable students to demographically situate themselves within their college and home geographical areas; to stimulate discussion by comparing students’ assumptions about the racial/ethnic make-up of these geographical areas to the statistical realities; to discuss how those assumptions and/or statistical realities can influence students’ perceptions, attitudes, behaviors, and experiences; to illustrate the social construction of race; to show how the census racial/ethnic categories have changed over time and how they are currently defined; and to demonstrate how students can access census data on-line and use the statistics in their own research.

Using County-Level Health Data to Examine the Social Determinants of Health

This assignment prompts students to apply understandings of the social determinants of health to analysis of publically available socioeconomic and health data, with the ultimate goal of encouraging students to critically engage in and personally relate to course material. Students are asked to use data from the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program (, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, in order to analyze the county-level social and economic contributors to health within a county of their choosing. This assignment (1) tests understanding of social conditions as fundamental causes of disease, (2) evaluates students’ ability to interpret population data, and (3) garners interest in the material by providing the opportunity to study a county of personal relevance to the student.