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Research and Social Change

Research and Social Change

Research and Social Change 2
This week, you consider the relationship between research and social change and the role of the
researcher as a social change agent. You also reflect on your current research skills to determine and
prepare for the next steps to take in becoming a researcher.
Reflect upon your progress and growth as a researcher. Consider the questions and statements that

How do you now understand the relationship between research and social change? How do you see
yourself as a social change agent?
What are your next steps in becoming a successful researcher and graduate student? What challenges
do you anticipate, and how might you overcome them?
With these thoughts in mind:
An explanation of the relationship between research and social change. Then, explain the role of a
researcher as an agent of positive social change. Next, describe your plans for the next steps you need to
take in becoming a successful researcher and graduate student.
There is a very tight relationship between research and social change. This is because the
two have an independent relationship. Social change is the alteration of the practices of a group
of people within any given society with the hope that it will bring about positive gains for the
individuals as well as the community at large. Social change is a necessity that is brought about
by the large number of challenges that affect different areas of society. These challenges are
problems that result from the way the members of the community are currently conducting their
day to day activities. The most important step prior to the institution of change is the
development of a critical understanding of the problem and the formulation of the best approach
for overcoming it (Charmaz, 2011). This is where research comes in.
The research is of course carried out by a researcher who then takes up the role of an
agent of change. The researcher will employ empirical methods and qualitative statistics to better
understand the problems that exist in the given society. Due to his or her expertise, the researcher
will have been exposed to similar situations or individuals who have come across challenges of

Research and Social Change 3
that nature. As a result he or she is able to clearly illustrate the nature of the problem in a manner
that the members of the society will understand. The researcher then develops recommendations
based on the possibilities that are available (Bernard and Bernard, 2012).
Having a good understanding of the problem and the society, this researcher will be well
placed to provide advice prior to and also during the time when the social change is taking place.
The researcher will capitalize on the strengths of the society in an effort to eliminate the
problem. At the same time, this individual will help the society in the identification of existent
opportunities to be taken advantage of in the social change.

My Plan to become a great Social Researcher and Graduate Student
In my plan to become a great social researcher I will have to do several things as
indicated below. The first thing that I will do is to ensure that I have a wide assortment of literary
sources which I will read thoroughly to properly understand the different approaches that are
used by more accomplished social researchers. At the same time I will seek to understand myself
better especially with respect to my strengths and passions as well as the weaknesses I have.
These will be key in helping me to find an area of social research that I would like to specialize
on. I believe specialization is important as it will grant me a chance to have a focus area. This
way I will easily experience linear growth (Babbie, 2013).
In addition to this I will find a way of joining scholarly societies made up of social
researchers so that I have a network of individuals from whom I can easily compare notes on
how to best approach social change through research. I believe that I will be able to find
mentorship from more established social researchers who will critique my work and also help me

Research and Social Change 4
to identify opportunities that exist in the field. I will also develop a cordial relationship with my
professors and supervisors in the University for easier consultation on academic matters.

Research and Social Change 5


Babbie, E. (2013). The basics of social research. Cengage Learning.
Bernard, H. R., & Bernard, H. R. (2012). Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative
approaches. Sage.
Charmaz, K. (2011). Grounded theory methods in social justice research. The Sage handbook of
qualitative research, 4, 359-380.

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