Exploring the Benefits of Community-based Research in a Sociology of Sexualities Course

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The benefits of community-based research (CBR) in the sociology classroom go beyond those associated with traditional service learning. Here, students use their sociological skills to examine and propose solutions to local social problems addressed by community organizations. Through analyzing students’ course reflection journals and the results of pre- and posttests, the authors demonstrate how CBR can help students gain a better command of the research process and enhance student attitudes toward community service. After participating in CBR, the authors find that students indicate greater proficiency in undertaking the entire research process, from creating and implementing a research plan to making data-derived client recommendations. In addition, by showing how CBR can be incorporated into a less obviously applicable course, such as Sociology of Sexualities, the authors hope to encourage its further expansion in sociology.



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