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Research Methods for Community Change

Research Methods for Community Change
A Project-Based Approach

Other Titles in:
Research Design | Research Methods

February 2005 | 288 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
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 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.

1. "But I Don't Do Research"
"But I Don't Do Research"

"So What Is Research?"

"Okay, So I Do Research Already. Why Do I Need to Learn About It?"

"I'm Already Running Full-Out Managing Our Programs. How Can I Do More Research Too?"

"I'm Still Not Convinced. But Just In Case, Where Do I Start?"

"So Where Do I and My Community Fit In?"

Conclusion and Coming Attractions

The Goose Story



2. The Goose Approach to Research
Have You Ever Felt Like an Interloper?

Participatory Approaches to Research

A Participatory Approach to Project-Based Research

Building Participatory Relationships: The Researcher Side

Building Participatory Relationships: The Community Side

Loose Gravel




3. Head and Hand Together: A Project-Based Research Model
The Head and Hand Split

From Head and Hand to Research and Action

Of Programs and Projects

The Project Model: Diagnose, Prescribe, Implement, Evaluate

The Project Model and Participatory Flexibility

Where Are You In the Project Cycle?

Loose Gravel




4. Diagnosing
How to Survive on a Deserted Island

The Impetus for Diagnosis

Structures for a Diagnostic Process: The Core Group

Strategies for a Diagnostic Process: Problems and Opportunities

The Problems Approach: Needs Assessment

The Opportunities Approach: Asset Mapping

Of Needs and Resources

Loose Gravel




5. Prescribing: Researching Options
Which Way Should You Go From Here?

Inward-Looking vs. Outward-Looking Social Change: Services and Policies

A Planning Approach

The Special Case of Policy Prescriptions

Loose Gravel




6. Implementing: When Research Is the Project
Making Who-ville Heard

Research as Action

Community Research

Target Research

Loose Gravel




7. Evaluation
Back to the Future, or Messing With the Space-Time Continuum

Choices in Evaluation

Participatory Evaluation From the Beginning

Participatory Evaluation as an Integrated Process

Loose Gravel




8. Beyond Information: Research as an Organizational Lifestyle
The Montessori, Goose Approach, Popular Education, Tennis Coach Model of Project-Based Research

The Project-Based Research Cycle Revisited

Role Models for Research as a Daily Practice

Behind the Fun: Information Management and Information Technology

Loose Gravel: Information Myths and Monsters

In Conclusion


Appendix A: Strategic Planning
Appendix B: Research Ethics
Appendix C: Writing Proposals
Appendix D: Data Resources
About the Author

This text is relevant for the needs of career audiences within the classroom who have differing backgrounds and professional goals.

Dr Marie Steichen
Landscape Arch Cmty Plan Dept, Kansas State University
January 29, 2013

Excellent Text for Urban Planning!

Dr J. Rosie Tighe
Geography Planning Dept, Appalachian State University
March 14, 2011

This text was ideal for my community-based resarch course. It serves as a good complement to more traditional qualitative methods books, which provide the "how-tos" of doing research. I was looking for something that would help broaden students' understanding of traditional research paradigms and also demonstrate the ways in which research can be instrumental in social change efforts.

Dr Sandra Richards Mayo
Center for California Cultural and Social Issues (CCCSI), Pitzer College
March 23, 2010

Great book... used for my research methods class last semester

Dr Joyce Mandell
Urban Studies Dept, Worcester State College
March 6, 2010

Randy R. Stoecker

Randy Stoecker is a Professor of Community and Environmental Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, with a joint appointment at the University of Wisconsin Extension Center for Community and Economic Development. He is the moderator/editor of COMM-ORG: The On-Line Conference on Community Organizing and Development ( His areas of expertise include community organizing and development, participatory action research/evaluation, and community information technology. He has been involved in a wide variety of community-based participatory research projects and participatory evaluations with community development... More About Author

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ISBN: 9780761928881

SAGE Research Methods is a research methods tool created to help researchers, faculty and students with their research projects. SAGE Research Methods links over 175,000 pages of SAGE’s renowned book, journal and reference content with truly advanced search and discovery tools. Researchers can explore methods concepts to help them design research projects, understand particular methods or identify a new method, conduct their research, and write up their findings. Since SAGE Research Methods focuses on methodology rather than disciplines, it can be used across the social sciences, health sciences, and more.