Research Methods for Community Change
A Project-Based Approach
- Randy Stoecker - University of Wisconsin - Madison, Chile
Research Design | Research Methods (General)
With an engaging, friendly style and numerous real world examples, author Randy Stoecker shows readers how to use a project-based research model in the community. The four features of the model are:
· Diagnosing a community condition
· Prescribing an intervention for the condition
· Implementing the prescription
· Evaluating its impact.
At every stage of this model there are research tasks, from needs and assets assessments at the diagnosis stage to process and outcome studies at the evaluation stage. Readers will also learn the importance of involving community members at every stage of the project and in every aspect of the research, making the research part of the community-building process.
In this book, Randy Stoecker fills a void in the applied research methods literature. His discussion of participatory approaches to project-based research serves as an important reference work for academics and practitioners. The book appeals to a broad audience, focusing on the types of projects graduates of sociology, social work, public administration, and planning departments do in applied settings. The strategies outlined in the book can assist in expanding the role of stakeholders in the research process and enhancing the quality of research conducted by local government, community-based organizations, and other nonprofits.
This book presents, in very unintimidating terms, the overall process of research and suggests milestones as well as hazards to watch out for in the path ahead. In addition to a course text, it can act as an in-process handbook to be repeatedly consulted during the research process.
Stoecker's highly readable book is a great leap forward in expanding the definition and practice of research and documentation through collaboration between academics and community activists. He makes project-based research accessible to readers through lively, real examples that involve creative and strategic use of sources and resources. Stoecker shows how good quality research can make meaningful differences in people's lives. The book is perfect for use in both classrooms and nonprofit organizations.
Randy Stoecker uses a lively blend of real world experience, scholarly understanding, and activism to take readers on the bumpy but exhilarating road that is project-based community research. Written in plain English with humor and stories from the front lines, Research Methods for Community Change is a pure delight and a 'must read' for researchers, practitioners, community members, funders, and anyone committed to community based research that can make a difference.
Increasingly, academics and policy makers are drawn into complex activities which engage in community change and trust-building. Research Methods for Community Change is a theoretically rich, insightful, yet practical and carefully written toolbox of ideas and techniques that can be fruitfully read and used by academics, practitioners or public officials. Significantly, its lessons are also applicable internationally to any community where there is a concern for using research to underpin social and democratic renewal.
At last! A concise, insightful and highly useful book on research methods for community action and social change. Drawing on his own rich experiences as well as broader literature and examples, Stoecker demonstrates that valuable research is not the monopoly of professional researchers, but can be used by people anywhere as a tool for organizing and developing their communities. Highly readable, grounded in analysis, and full of practical approaches, this book will be an important resource for activists, students, scholars, policy makers and community development practitioners who seek to use research for more effective and sustainable change.
This clearly written and insightful book makes an important contribution to the field of community-based research. Randy Stoecker makes use of his rich background as a scholar, activist, and teacher to gives us what we desperately need -- a compelling vision and concrete strategies to enable diverse individuals and organizations to produce knowledge for social change.
Drawing from his own experiences and case studies from across the nation, Stoecker offers an empowering and remarkably accessible discussion of how project-based research models build community and democracy by redistributing both power and responsibility. It is an informative and valuable text that makes a convincing case that research must become daily practice for all who are committed to working for effective social change.
At last, a book that demystifies research for both novice and experienced community workers who want to make a difference. Randy Stoecker presents a refreshingly innovative and accessible challenge to more conventional texts.
"The strengths of this well-organized book are that it provides an explicit framework and regularly point out the real-world difficulties in applying the model. The use of research methods in community practice is well described through the author's numerous experiences."