Observation

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What are problems with participant observation and getting in?
Once contact is made the researcher must gain a group's trust and make friends with a key informant. A particular role must also be adopted that offers easy view but doesn't interfere.
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What are the problems with staying in?
They must be involved in the group but remain detached. As the researcher spends more time in the group the behaviour will stop being strange and note-worthy.
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What are the problems with getting out?
Leaving people who they are close too can be hard as can re-entering the real world. Loyalty can also compromise objectivity.
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What are 3 good practical points about participant observation.
Insight - verstehen and understanding. Access - some groups only speak to people who share their way of life and observation may be the only way of uncovering unconscious actions. Flexibility - it isn't fixed
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What are 5 limitations of participant observation?
Time-consuming. Needs to be trained. Stressful and demanding. Requires interpersonal skills. Groups may prevent sociologists from joining them.
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What do interpretivists argue are theoretical issues of participant observation?
It's valid because the researcher is involved. It's very flexible. Glaser and Strauss argue researchers don't have any ideas and so produce a grounded theory.
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What do positivists argue are he theoretical issues of participant observation?
Not representative - small group. Not reliable as another researcher can't repeat it. There isn't a lack of objectivity. Lack of validity as findings based on interpretations. The Hawthorne effect/ethics.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

They must be involved in the group but remain detached. As the researcher spends more time in the group the behaviour will stop being strange and note-worthy.

Back

What are the problems with staying in?

Card 3

Front

Leaving people who they are close too can be hard as can re-entering the real world. Loyalty can also compromise objectivity.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Insight - verstehen and understanding. Access - some groups only speak to people who share their way of life and observation may be the only way of uncovering unconscious actions. Flexibility - it isn't fixed

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Time-consuming. Needs to be trained. Stressful and demanding. Requires interpersonal skills. Groups may prevent sociologists from joining them.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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