Action Theory: A Primer for Applied Research in the Social Sciences

Overview

The authors describe a view that our short-, medium-, and long- term behavior, interactions, and relationships—whether planned or spontaneous, purposeful or playful—can be understood in terms of goal-directed systems. An understanding of action theory and research methods used in applied settings is provided. It leads to the conclusion that individual processes are joint processes and the joint construction of lives should be monitored to understand ongoing personal and social ...

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Overview

The authors describe a view that our short-, medium-, and long- term behavior, interactions, and relationships—whether planned or spontaneous, purposeful or playful—can be understood in terms of goal-directed systems. An understanding of action theory and research methods used in applied settings is provided. It leads to the conclusion that individual processes are joint processes and the joint construction of lives should be monitored to understand ongoing personal and social involvements.

The unique contribution of this book lies in its bringing together and extending of basic features of the theory of goal-directed action systems previously published in a range of scattered research and conceptual articles in the literature. Professionals including clinicians, counselors, social workers, researchers, doctors, nurses, and physical or occupational therapists will find in this book an accessible means to understand, act on, research, and intervene in the behavioral processes they encounter in everyday work.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Psychologists from Canada and Switzerland overview the action theoretical approach to qualitative research, defining action in this context as the goal-directed and intentional behavior of humans. They suggest that the approach would be appropriate to virtually all health professions as well as to a wide range of fields that encompass counseling or teaching. They begin by exploring the conceptual and methodological foundations, then present research reports documenting specific applications. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275970864
  • Publisher: ABC-Clio, LLC
  • Publication date: 7/30/2002
  • Pages: 286
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

LADISLAV VALACH is Oberassistant of Psychology at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. He is also a psychotherapist at the Rehabilitation Centre of the Medical Clinic at Buerger Hospital in Solothurn, Switzerland.

RICHARD A. YOUNG is Professor of Counselling Psychology at the University of British Columbia. His earlier books include Interpreting Career: Hermeneutical Studies of Lives in Context (Praeger, 1992) and Methodological Approaches to the Study of Career (Praeger, 1990).

M. JUDITH LYNAM is Associate Professor of Nursing at the University of British Columbia. She is Co-Director of the School of Nursing Cultural Studies and Health Research Unit.

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Table of Contents

Figures and Tables
Preface
Acknowledgments
Pt. I Conceptual and Methodological Considerations
1 Action: Problem, Concept, Explanation, Method, and Theory 3
2 Research Procedures for Using Action Theory in Applied Research 45
3 Action Theory Research 83
Pt. II Application of Action Theory, Research Reports
4 Empowerment, Praxis, and Action Theory in Health-Promotion Research 123
5 The Reasoning of Parents and Children in Conversation about Marital Transitions 139
6 Stories of Attempted Suicide: Suicide Career, Suicide Project, and Suicide Action 153
7 Action Theoretical Perspective in Rehabilitation 173
8 Conclusion 199
App The Family Health-Promotion Project Research Manual 203
References 231
Name Index 251
Subject Index 259
About the Authors and Contributors 267
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