A type of descriptive study in which the researcher is actively involved in the situation. go to glossary index
research method in which investigators engage in the social activities of the people/sample they are studying. By gaining a close and intimate familiarity with people in their natural environment, researchers are enabled to study social behavior as it occurs. Even with this awareness and interaction, the research data and analysis may be biased as the researcher has problems balancing subjectivity and objectivity because of their own participation within the group studied.
A data collection process which entails engaging in the activities of the people in the community in which the ethnographer is working. The ethnographer immerse himself/herself into the life of the community becoming integrated into it.
Involves carefully observing people’s face-to-face interaction and actually participating in their lives over a long period, thus achieving a deep and sympathetic understanding of what motivates them to act in the way they do.
used to describe the method most commonly adopted by ethnographers, whereby the researcher participates in the life of a community or group, while making observations of members' behaviour.
a method of study in which anthropologists live with their subjects for a long time, participate as a group or community member, and record their observations
research that requires an observer to become a member of his or her subjects' community.
A way of gathering information by becoming part of the group you are studying. Other members of the group may or may not know about the research.
a form of systematic observation whereby the observer interacts with the people being observed, but tries not to alter the situation in any way
An observational research technique in which a researcher insinuates himself into a group to be studied.
an ethnographic technique in which the ethnographer observes, and takes parts in cultural events he or she aims to analyze or describe.
The researcher is immersed in the action being observed but their role as researcher is not obvious. An example of participant observation methodology occurs when the researcher goes into a shopping centre in a wheelchair or joins a group in order to study it. Researchers using participant observation must be aware of the ethical implications of this methodology. A methodology wherein the researcher's role is more in the open is the participant-as-observer methodology. In this, the researcher still participates in, as well as observes, the action being studied but does so with the knowledge of other participants.
A form of observational research in which the observer's presence is known to the subject.
"Participant observation is a form of field research in which the researcher participates as an actor in the events under study" (Babbie, 1998, p.305)."The observer joins in the activities of the individual or group being observed" (Leavitt, 1991, p.151).
Direct participation by a data-gatherer in the daily living and day-to-day activities of a community or intervention location, so as to make possible the systematic description of activities through notes from direct observation, plus additional data from verbal statements of people involved in those same events and activities.
A research method involving direct participation of the researcher in the events being studied. The researcher may either reveal or hide the true reason for involvement.
participant observation was developed as the principal method of anthropology in the early part of the twentieth century, but more recently has been widely used in qualitative research. It is based on the researcher's participation, often over a sustained period, in a particular social and cultural context. The information gathered from observation and talking to 'informants' provides the research data. It is argued that sustained participation is necessary for a rich understanding of particular 'ways of life'.
A type of investigation using the observational method but where the investigator becomes an accpeted member of the group being studied.
A fieldwork technique used by anthropologists and sociologists to collect qualitative and quantitative data that leads to an indepth understanding of peoples' practices, motivations, and attitudes. Participant observation entails investigating the project background, studying the general characteristics of a beneficiary population, and living for an extended period among beneficiaries, during which interviews, observations, and analyses are recorded and discussed.
A research method in which researchers collect systematic observations while being part of the activities of the group they are studying.
Participant observation is a set of research strategies which aim to gain a close and intimate familiarity with a given group of individuals (such as a religious, occupational, or subcultural group, or a particular community) and their practices through an intensive involvement with people in their natural environment, often though not always over an extended period of time. The method originated in field work of social anthropologists, especially BronisÅ‚aw Malinowski and his students in Britain, the students of Franz Boas in the US, and in the urban research of the Chicago School.