As social science researchers, our work goes beyond just collecting data, analyzing, and reporting on it. We often find ourselves fully immersed in the world of the people we are researching, trying to understand their lived experiences and unique perspectives. And this kind of work not only impacts the communities we work with, but it also affects us as individuals. 

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Broadening Our Horizons 

When working with diverse communities, we are exposed to a wide range of beliefs, values, and attitudes. We learn to challenge our own assumptions and biases, and we gain a deeper understanding of the complexities and nuances of different cultures and lifestyles. This exposure to diverse perspectives can broaden our own horizons and help us become more open-minded and empathetic individuals. 

Here at Corona, we regularly get the chance to work on projects that allow us to expand our perspectives and topical knowledge. One project that comes to mind is a recent study on mental health resources in a large metropolitan area. We were able to interview individuals who had utilized these resources, as well as mental health professionals who have recommended these resources. Specifically, mental health professionals who work with disadvantaged populations. Through this research, we gained a better understanding of the challenges faced by those seeking mental health services, as well as the barriers faced by those professionals referring these services.  

As with all of our projects, including diverse voices allowed us to understand the landscape of this specific resource more fully. It is always rewarding to see our work positively impacting our community.   

Innovative Solutions 

Additionally, our work often requires us to think critically and creatively. We must constantly adapt our research methods to the needs of our clients and the communities we are working with. This flexibility allows us to come up with innovative solutions to complex research problems, and it also helps us to develop new skills and approaches that we can use in future projects. 

We are lucky to have clients who work with diverse populations and are committed to making a difference in their community. Their commitment to social impact inspires us to do our best work and reminds us of the importance of our research. Without our clients, we would not have the opportunity to engage with diverse communities and learn from their experiences.