Developing applied research projects
Managing constraints and opportunities
Analyzing social data
Reading: Berk/Hauser; Burawoy/Tittle
Employment and Training for Homeless Persons
AIDS/HIV Prevention Practice in Massachusetts Shelters;
Homeless Persons’ Residential Preferences and Needs
1.Questions: Which of the five applied reports provides what you think is the best model for using research to influence social policy? Why? Which of the five applied reports do you think is the least effective model for how to use research to influence social policy? Why?
Answers should be 2-3 paragraphs and no more than one page in total. Each answer should include an explanation of your reasoning.
2.Respond to other comment for the same question below:
I think the “Employment and Training for Homeless Persons” study provided the best model for using research to influence social policy. Per Berk’s article on applied sociological research, the best research requires the use of multiple methods, and it is clear which data is statistically significant. This study utilized both a questionnaire, observation, and interviews. The statistically significant data was explicitly stated as having a chi square value of less than .1. Berk would also comment that this study was strengthened because it was a team effort since this was a graduate class working together. I think that because this article focuses on job training at two large shelters in a city, the outcomes of the research can be applied to small shelters as well. One question I had from this reading is what happens after these individuals leave the shelter. Do they apply for HomeBASE so they can be helped get into stable housing with financial assistance and case management? Are these resources available to apply?
However, I think the Homeless Persons’ Residential Preferences and Needs article is the least effective model to influence social policy. This article heavily relies on interviewing and lacks a strong interdisciplinary approach. Although some surveying is completed, it is not as strong as the Employment and Training article. It is hard to apply the findings of this study elsewhere because only two types of shelters: mental health and geriatric shelter. If more shelters were involved, I think the article would be stronger in influencing social policy.