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Karen M. Staller

Professor of Social Work

Karen M. Staller

Karen Staller, PhD, JD, received her educational training at Cornell Law School and Columbia University School of Social Work, where her dissertation on runaway and homeless youth was awarded with distinction. Staller practiced public interest law with low-income senior citizens and at-risk adolescents in New York City. Her scholarship focuses primarily on runaway and homeless youth (and other at-risk adolescents). She is interested in the complicated interplay between social problem construction, social service delivery, and social policy. Her book published by Columbia University Press, Runaways: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped Today's Practices and Policies, entertains this interplay. Her scholarship starts from a constructionist epistemological perspective and is in the interpretivist tradition. She blends her legal and social work training in her scholarship, research methodology, and her approach to teaching. She teaches in the areas of social welfare policy, child and family policy, and qualitative research methods.

Research Interests/Focus

Runaway and homeless youth, law, social problem construction, history of social welfare, qualitative research methods.


Year Degree   School
1999 PhD Social Policy Columbia University, New York, NY
1995 MPhil Social Policy Columbia University, New York, NY
1985 JD Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
1979 BA Art History Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

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