Community-Based Research

Michael Root

Qualitative research contrasts with quantitative research and pure with applied, but what contrasts with community-based research in the social sciences? All social scientists study communities or their members and, as a result, could be said, in one sense, to be doing community-based research. As most social scientists use the term ‘community-based’, however, they mean doing research with and not simply on members of a community. 1 To be community-based, in any significant sense, a study has to be done in collaboration with members of a community rather than entirely by an outside expert. So understood, community-based research in the social sciences is an exception rather than the rule, for in most studies subjects have little if any say over how the research is to be conducted. A social scientist or expert chooses the words and writes the script, and, as a result, within the social sciences, a community-based study When ...

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