James Patrick: was invited by a gang member to see what life was like in a Glasgow street gang. Joined in most of the activities of the gang but was forced to leave when other members became suspicious about his real motives.
Erving Goffman: Studied life in an American mental institution. Worked as the assistant athletics coach, a role that allowed him to see at first hand how patients responded to life in a mental institution
- This method should allow for the most verstehen of any research method
- If the group don't realise they are being observed, this should be a method that has a high degree of validity
- The research takes place in a a natural setting
- The researcher may discover areas to research they were unaware of initially
- The method is time-consuming but inexpensive
- The are ethical concerns such as lack of informed consent. Patrick was breaking the law by being involved in some of the activities
- Are the group going to behave normally with the presence of an outsider, even if they accept the new person as one of their own?
- It is difficult to record the findings. Patrick had to rely on memory as he could not be…