Participant observation

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  • Created by: Revisonf
  • Created on: 05-01-14 15:51
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  • Participant observation
    • The researcher joins the group and participates in the activities.
    • Overt PO:
      • The group is aware that the researcher is observing them.
      • The researchers prensence may influence the behaviour of the group; this is known as the 'observer effect'.
    • Covert PO:
      • The researcher joins the group without informing them about his/her activities.
      • A limitation is that the researcher may not ask too many question becuase it might 'blow their cover'.
      • As the group is not aware of the research activities, the researcher does not have their consent; this is considered unacceptable because it involves deception and invasion of privacy
      • Some argue that covert PO is the only way to study and develop knowledge about topics related to illegal activity.
      • Also, if the group members are unaware, they will not change their behaviour; this avoids the 'observer effect'.


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