In the Youth and Society Lab (YSL), we leverage science and theory to support initiatives for justice and equity. The YSL group embraces a team-based approach to science in which all lab members play key roles in various aspects of the research process. We also embrace multiple and mixed methods along with various theoretical frameworks to advance our research program. Generally, the research questions we ask are concerned with how young people learn to reason about inequality, how they feel about inequality, and how they engage in collective action.
Though open to a variety of methods, the YSL has two overarching methodological orientations: critical applications of quantitative methods (i.e., CritQuant) and the study of change over time (longitudinal research). In the YSL group, employing CritQuant means that we leverage critical theories when conceptualizing quantitative studies and engage community partners (e.g., schools, community organizations) in equitable research-practice partnerships. We are oriented toward studying change over time because collecting data in this way affords a more complete understanding of social phenomena. YSL trainees can expect to hone a rigorous methods toolkit along with deep theoretical understanding during their time in the lab, preparing them for a wide array of positions upon graduation.