Participant observation advantages and disadvantages

When I first began conducting my ethnographic study of the Muscogee culture, I was made aware of several incidents in which researchers were perceived to have taken information they had obtained through interviews or observations and had published their findings without permission of the Creek people or done so without giving proper credit to the participants who had shared their lives with the researchers.

advantages and disadvantages of participant observation in anthropology

To help determine the differences, the researcher should ask the participants if they know people who have a different experience or opinion of the topic.

But they always become reluctant to disclose these things to a known person.

Participant observation advantages and disadvantages

They are then asked to compare their recollections with the actual setting to see what they were able to remember and how well they were able to do so. The second type, focused observation, emphasizes observation supported by interviews, in which the participants' insights guide the researcher's decisions about what to observe. SCHENSUL, SCHENSUL, and LeCOMPTE note that good field notes: use exact quotes when possible; use pseudonyms to protect confidentiality; describe activities in the order in which they occur; provide descriptions without inferring meaning; include relevant background information to situate the event; separate one's own thoughts and assumptions from what one actually observes; record the date, time, place, and name of researcher on each set of notes. The ethnographic method involves watching what participants do, listening to them, engaging in probing conversations, and joining them in day to day tasks as necessary; it also involves investigating any cultural artefacts such as art work and any written work if it exists, as well as analysing what religious rituals and popular stories can tell us about the culture. I chose to remain in the motel, because this enabled me to have the down time in the evenings that I needed to write up field notes and code and analyze data. There are at least five reasons for this: You can observe what people do, not what they say they do — In contrast to most other methods, participant observation allows the researcher to see what people do rather than what people say they do. KOTTAK defines enculturation as "the social process by which culture is learned and transmitted across generations" p. Membership roles in field research. Evaluation A participant observation is where the sociologist joins a group of people and studies their behaviour and actions.

By having them record on one side of their paper what information they take in through their senses and on the other side whatever thoughts, feelings, ideas they have about what is happening, they are more likely to begin to see the difference in observed data and their own construction or interpretation of the activity.

During this time, CUSHING learned the language, participated in the customs, was adopted by a pueblo, and was initiated into the priesthood.

A combination of both participant and non-participant method is sometimes selected. BREUER and ROTH use a variety of methods for knowledge production, including, for example, positioning or various points of view, different frames of reference, such as special or temporal relativity, perceptual schemata based on experience, and interaction with the social context—understanding that any interaction changes the observed object.

One can find information in the notes easily by indexing and cross-referencing information from both notebooks by noting on index cards such information as "conflicts, gender, jokes, religion, marriage, kinship, men's activities, women's activities, and so on" p.

Non participant observation advantages and disadvantages

It is easier for the observer to perform both the roles than to disguise himself completely. In this stance, the researcher is an observer who is not a member of the group and who is interested in participating as a means for conducting better observation and, hence, generating more complete understanding of the group's activities. Lincoln Eds. References 3. The process of conducting this type of field work involves gaining entry into the community, selecting gatekeepers and key informants, participating in as many different activities as are allowable by the community members, clarifying one's findings through member checks, formal interviews, and informal conversations, and keeping organized, structured field notes to facilitate the development of a narrative that explains various cultural aspects to the reader. A participant observer usually works alone -- or at most with one or two other people -- to minimize his impact on the situation he is studying. Because he did not publish extensively about this culture, he was criticized as having gone native, meaning that he had lost his objectivity and, therefore, his ability to write analytically about the culture. In the main body of this essay, this idea will be addressed by pointing out advantages and disadvantages of participant observation. This process he describes of becoming a part of the community, while observing their behaviors and activities, is called participant observation. BREUER and ROTH use a variety of methods for knowledge production, including, for example, positioning or various points of view, different frames of reference, such as special or temporal relativity, perceptual schemata based on experience, and interaction with the social context—understanding that any interaction changes the observed object. Legality can also be an issue in covert research where researchers working with deviant groups may have to do illegal acts to maintain their cover. They note that, unless ethnographers use other methods than just participant observation, there is likelihood that they will fail to report the negative aspects of the cultural members. Particularly when conducting cross-cultural research, it is necessary to have an understanding of cultural norms that exist. Because the conversations dealt with sexual content, which, in their culture, was referred to more delicately as intimacy, I was unable to report my findings, as, to do so, would have been inappropriate.
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Participant Observation Advantages and Disadvantages