Evaluating and Valuing in Social Research

Thomas A. Schwandt and Emily F. Gates

HardcoverPaperbacke-bookprint + e-book
Hardcover
October 12, 2021
ISBN 9781462547333
Price: $90.00
250 Pages
Size: 6⅛" x 9¼"
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Paperback
September 17, 2021
ISBN 9781462547326
Price: $40.00
250 Pages
Size: 6⅛" x 9¼"
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e-book
August 4, 2021
ePub and PDF ?
Price: $40.00
250 Pages
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print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (ePub and PDF) ?
Price: $44.00
250 Pages
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“It is not hyperbolic to call this book one of the most important contributions to the evaluation and social science research literature in the last decade. It offers the perfect antidote to the pervasive and fallacious ‘valuphobia’ that has gripped the field. Especially in this era of post-truth and alternative facts, social scientists have a paramount responsibility to deeply and thoughtfully engage with how they inevitably make value judgments, and how to do so well. Presenting an alternative framing of evaluation as an activity that deliberatively develops value rather than just determining it, this is an important guide for researchers who aspire to reflect the ethical and public responsibility of this work. It would be appropriate as one of a few core texts for advanced graduate courses on evaluation, policy analysis, and social science research methodology.”

—Thomas G. Archibald, PhD, Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education, Virginia Tech


“There is a great deal to love about this thought-provoking book. Schwandt is our most important contemporary philosopher of evaluation. He is precisely the right scholar to further advance thinking on values determination and valuing. It is wonderful to see him thread his ideas on evaluation as a moral practice with Gates’s arguments for using diverse systems frameworks to grapple with competing conceptions of social problems and solutions. The book will push the evaluation field to new ways of thinking about values, valuing, and practice. I am eager to have it on my bookshelf and use it with my students. The goals for evaluation practice laid out in the book are inspiring. I look forward to reading it again and again.”

—Robin Lin Miller, PhD, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University


“This book presents a compelling case for reconceptualizing the role of evaluation and evaluators in a world beset by 'wicked' problems. To what extent should evaluators function explicitly as moral agents and social critics? The perspective taken by the authors is provocative and powerful, and their analysis deserves to be widely read in the field.”

—Michael Morris, PhD, Department of Psychology (Emeritus), University of New Haven


“An extraordinary achievement. This book elegantly targets the barriers posed by outmoded beliefs about what constitutes reliable evidence for social interventions. Rich in insight, the book shows that the work of tomorrow’s social changemakers cannot be understood by dividing complex initiatives into isolated, value-free parts. Schwandt and Gates offer both a clear theoretical frame and real-world examples that will enable stakeholders to support more ambitious initiatives to significantly improve lives.”

—Lisbeth B. Schorr, Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of Social Policy