Observations

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1. What are the disadvantages of overt observations?

  • Group may refuse researcher permission and cause hawthorne effect.
  • Researcher may cause hawthorne effect and engage in illegal activity.
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2. Why are participant observations argued to be invalid?

  • Because findings are often too subjective and impressions gained from observer are often biased.
  • Findings are often objective and impresssions gained from observer are often biased.

3. Why does the risk of going native cause issues with regards to participant observation?

  • Because loyalty to a group or fear of reprisal may lead the sociologist to conceal information.
  • May lead to the sociologist becoming too objective
  • May not be able to provide any data at all

4. What are the advantages of overt observations?

  • Allows researcher to gain insights through asking questions only an insider would need to ask and use interview methods to check insights derived from observations.
  • Observer can take notes openly, ask naive questions that only an outsider could ask and use interview methods to check insights derived from observations.
  • The observer can go native

5. Why are participant observations argued to be flexible?

  • Because the sociologist can enter the situation with an open mind and discover things the researcher may miss.
  • Because the researcher can go native allowing them to find things they miss from other research methods.

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