Observations

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1. 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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2. 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

3. What are the advantages of covert observation?

  • Reduces risk of engaging in illegal or immoral activity.
  • Reduces risk of hawthrone effect.
  • Observer can take notes openly

4. What are the disadvantages of covert observations?

  • Cant combine other reserch methods,requires researcher to keep up an act and may risk engaging in illegal activity
  • May cause researcher to go native, keep up an act and reduce risk of altering people's behaviour.

5. Name one practical disadvantage participant observation can cause.

  • Can be time consuming
  • Can be too valid
  • Can take too little time

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