Mixed Methods Design as a Tool to Enhance Social Justice

This workshop is designed for researchers who want to learn how to use mixed methods to better address the needs of members of marginalized communities, such as women, people with disabilities, poor people, racial/ethnic minorities, and religions minorities. It will address strategies that mixed methods researchers can include in their designs that enhance their ability to contribute to addressing social inequities. Using a transformative lens, researchers will learn how to identify those aspects of culture and societal structures that support continued oppression and how to contribute in a positive way to social transformation. The focus will be on ethical issues that inform design, such as cultural respect and responsiveness, addressing power differentials, and inclusion of reciprocity as a strategy to build capacity in marginalized populations. Mixed methods strategies will be discussed that allow for suppressed voices to be included in the understanding of the problem to be addressed, as well as in the development and implementation of potential solutions. Examples will be drawn from domestic and international contexts that include topics such as prevention of violence, environmental justice, and improvement of health prevention services. Having experience in the field is useful, but even novice researchers can benefit from this workshop because participants will have the opportunity to develop a transformative mixed methods design for their own research area of interest.

Donna Mertens is Professor Emeritus at Gallaudet University with a specialization in research and evaluation methodologies designed to support social transformation through the enhancement of human rights and furtherance of social justice.. She has authored, co-authored, or edited over 16 books related to research and evaluation methods and human rights, including Mixed Methods Design in Evaluation (in press); Research and Evaluation in Education and Psychology: Integrating Diversity with Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods; Indigenous Pathways into Social Research; Program Evaluation Theory and Practice; and Transformative Research and Evaluation. She taught MA and PhD hearing and deaf students in education, psychology, social work, administration, and international development for 32 years. She has conducted professional development related to transformative mixed methods in many contexts, e.g., Chile, Guatemala, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Niger, Ghana, Brazil, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Mertens also served as the Editor for the Journal of Mixed Methods Research 2010-2014. She chaired the MMIRA task force on the future of mixed methods: challenges and opportunities 2015-2016.