• Created by: 1234am
  • Created on: 04-01-20 16:56


non-participant - groups observed without the researcher taking part

participant - researcher takes part in the group (weber calls this verstehen)

overt - group knows about the researcher and the purpose

covert - group doesnt know about the researcher, they give a false identity to the group and hides the purpose

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'getting in' gaining entry (Patrick 1973) - gained access beacuse he knew a gang member

'acceptance from the group' (Thornton 1955) - slightly older and struggled

(Griffin 1962 'black like me') - turned his skin black to gain acceptance

'staying in' - keeping in character (Punch 'going native') - over identified himself as a policeman

'getting out' (Patrick 1973 'glasgow gang') - ended the research early - re entering reality

- loyalty to the group (publishing the findings)

- could be dangerous

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adv/disadv of overt participant observations


  • can leave freely
  • being honest
  • less harmful
  • open with the observations
  • less ethical issues
  • more valid (can ask them questions)


  • group may not want to take partv (access)
  • takes time (trust)
  • expensive
  • hawthorne effect (changing when you know your being watched)
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adv/disadv of covert participant observations


  • group might open up more
  • reduce chances of hawthorne effect
  • easier access


  • hard to leave
  • going native
  • unethical (no consent)
  • dangerous
  • takes time
  • expensive
  • not as valid (cant openly ask questions) (cant make notes as you go - memory)
  • hard to stay in character
  • could witness illegal/immoral actions
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