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Introduction to Action Research

Introduction to Action Research
Social Research for Social Change

Second Edition

October 2006 | 320 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
The Second Edition of Introduction to Action Research: Social Research for Social Change makes social science matter! It focuses on how it is possible to combine practical problem solving with generating new theoretical insights. Authors Davydd J. Greenwood and Morten Levin combine a thorough discussion of the epistemological foundations of action research with a broad overview of major contemporary trends in the field.

New to the Second Edition:  
  • Includes a vast amount of updated information: Nine chapters have been significantly updated, including two new chapters that engage readers into the current debates on action research as "tradition" or its own "methodology," and how action research takes shape in the university environment. New textboxes highlight important issues in each chapter and more detailed cases and real-world examples illustrate the practical implications of AR in a variety of settings.
  • Incorporates a new structure: New information pertains specifically to issues of techniques, work forms, and research strategies based on the authors’ experiences in using the book in teaching. The book now has 4 parts instead of 3, with an entirely new section on higher education and democracy as a concluding section.
  • Emphasizes the skill sets needed to do action research: This book deals with the process of educating action researchers and reviews a number of programs that do this. Specific attention is given to the challenges of writing and intellectual property in AR, and more focus is devoted to both adult and formal education, creating a comprehensive overview of the field that is not found in any other action research book.

Intended Audience:  
This is an excellent textbook for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in Action Research, Social Research, and Qualitative Research across the social sciences.

What Is Action Research?
Introduction: Action Research, Diversity, and Democracy
A History of Action Research
Action Research Cases From Practice: The Stories of Stongfjorden, Mondragón, and Programs for Employment and Workplace Systems at Cornell University
Science, Epistemology, and Practice in Action Research
An Epistemological Foundation for Action Research
Scientific Method and Action Research
Social Science Research Techniques, Work Forms, and Research Strategies in Action Research
Knowledge Generation in Action Research: The Dialectics of Local Knowledge and Research-based Knowledge
The Friendly Outsider: From AR as a Research Strategy to the Skills Needed to Become an Action Researcher
Varieties of Action Research Praxis: Liberating Human Potential
Pragmatic Action Research
Power, Liberation, Adult Education, Feminism, and Social Reform
Educational Action Research
Participatory evaluation
Rapid Rural Appraisal, Participatory Rural Appraisal, and Participatory Learning and Analysis
Human Inquiry, Collaborative Inquiry, Cooperative Inquiry, Action Inquiry, Self-reflective Inquiry, and Mapping the Varieties of Action Research
Action Science and Organizational Learning
Action Research, Higher Education, and Democracy
Educating Action Researchers
Action Research, Participation, and Democratization

"[This book] is an excellent addition to the bookshelf of any social change researcher. Additionally, it is a first-rate resource for educational researchers within organizations or the community."

Margaret Mulligan
Medical Education Specialist, Medical College of Wisconsin

Useful for the case supplies offered. The contention that AR is more scientific than other social science research makes it problematic to include this volume as a key text in a course where such approaches are also taught as equally valid approaches.

Dr Peter Oakley
Gold/Silversmithing,Metalwork&Jeweller, Royal College of Art
November 15, 2016

This is a comprehensive and detailed introduction to Action Research as much as it is a worthy introduction for undergraduates engaging with research for the first time.

The book is a resource book, history and theoretical account all in one, and is written in a detailed yet accessible manner for all levels of undergradute study.

Dr Peter Watt
Business Management, York St John University
January 25, 2015

This is a good book on the philosophy but in terms of application, it is less useful. My course is actually organized around a team project in the community. So I went with another book. But put this on reserve for students to use as needed.

Jayne Docherty
Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, Eastern Mennonite University
April 21, 2013

Good overview with effective and useful case studies. Perhaps too specialised and US orientated for HNC Sociology.

Mr David Ness
Social Science, Moray College UHI
January 22, 2013

The examples shown represent interesting cases for use in class work. The diversity of situations depicted gives a complete idea about the heterogeneous scope of action-research concerning the different objects of research and intervention as well as the different social and cultural contexts.

Dr Pedro Silva
Dep. Economia, Sociologia e Gestao, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro
December 14, 2012

A must if undertaking action research. Chapter on Epistemology is essential reading. Many text avoid or skim over this aspect.

Miss Tracey Barnfather
Midwifery Division, Northampton University
October 22, 2012

This is an excellent introduction to action research. I use it not only to teach, but also for my own projects.

Dr Anna Feigenbaum
Social Sciences and Humanities, Richmond, The American Int'l University in London
June 27, 2012

This book gives a good overview on action research, and can be used by students who choose action researc as their approach in their bachelorproject

Mrs Kirsten Henriksen
Socialrådgiveruddannelsen i Århus, Via University College
March 6, 2012

This book makes Action Research easy to understand. It not only outlines what Action Research is but also details the history, background and epistemology of research for social change.

Mrs Kathryn Nethercott
Applied Social Studies, Bedfordshire University
March 5, 2012
Key features
  • New textboxes highlight important issues in each chapter and connect real practice in action research to what is discussed in the respective chapters.
  • Two new chapters: Social Science Research Methodology and Action Research, dealing with the debate of AR as an integrated approach, or AR as its own methodology; and Action Research as University Reform.
  • Completely updated references and suggested further readings.
  • Many more detailed case studies and real-world examples to illustrate the practical implications of this approach in a variety of settings.
  • Entirely new section on higher education and democracy.

For instructors

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