This book covers a wide range of contemporary methods for researching social problems and connects these approaches to the broader substance and theories of social problems. Expository and discursive in approach, chapters follow a uniform structure, with each offering research examples and a broad description of the related method and its theoretical context, together with a "how-to" guide for applying that method using substantive examples from the field of social problems. For every method explored, there is a research example that fully reviews and illustrates the application of the particular method, before giving a full assessment of the method’s strengths and weaknesses and latest developments. With chapters exploring survey interviews, in-depth interviews, narrative inquiry, institutional ethnography, participatory action research, auto-ethnography, Actor-Network Theory, experimental research, visual research methods, and research ethics, Researching Social Problems will appeal to scholars and students of sociology and politics working in the fields of research methods and social problems.

chapter |29 pages


ByAmir Marvasti, A. Javier Treviño

chapter 1|17 pages

Survey research

Asking questions for assessing social problems
ByKaren G. Weiss

chapter 2|18 pages

Research interviews

Measuring, feeling, and constructing social problems 1
ByAmir Marvasti

chapter 3|18 pages

Narrative inquiry

Stories and storytellers of social problems
ByAmir Marvasti, Lara Foley, Aubrey DeLammermore

chapter 4|19 pages

Institutional ethnography

A mode of inquiry and a strategy for change
ByMarjorie L. DeVault

chapter 5|20 pages

Participatory action research

Re-imagining the study and transformation of social problems
ByKristen P. Goessling

chapter 6|17 pages

Autoethnography as a methodology in researching social problems

ByCarol Rambo, Brittany Presson, Victoria Gaines, Brandi Barnes

chapter 7|17 pages

Considering materiality

The utility of Actor-Network Theory to study social problems
ByShannon K. Carter, Beatriz M. Reyes-Foster

chapter 8|16 pages

Systematic experimentation on social problems

ByMichael J. Lovaglia, Shane D. Soboroff, Christopher P. Kelley, Jeffrey W. Lucas

chapter 9|16 pages

Visual research methods

Integrating images in the study of social problems
ByPatricia Snell Herzog

chapter 10|17 pages

The ethics of the study of social problems

ByMark Israel, Farida Fozdar