Everyone is a member of a community, and every community is continually changing. To successfully manage that change, community members need information. Research Methods for Community Change: A Project-Based Approach is an in-depth review of all of the research methods that communities use to solve problems, develop their resources, and protect their identities.
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.
Research Methods for Community Change is perfectly suited as a text for undergraduate and graduate research methods courses across the social sciences, including sociology, social work, and public health. Community service workers, professional researchers, and consultants will also find this an invaluable guide to effecting change in their communities.
"At last! A concise, insightful and highly useful book on research methods for community action and social change. Drawing from his own rich experiences as well as from 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."
—John Gaventa, Fellow, Institute for Development Studies, Sussex, U.K.
"Drawing from his own experiences and from 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."
—Stephen L. Fisher, Director, Appalachian Center for Community Service, Emory & Henry College
"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."
—Kathleen Staudt, University of Texas at El Paso
"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."
—Linda Briskman, Associate Professor of Social Work, RMIT University, Australia