Guide Participant Observation

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  1. Getting Grounded in the Field – Analyzing Participant Observation Data with MAXQDA’s Visual Tools
  2. Non-participant observation
  3. This method belongs to these chapters:
  4. The Utility of Participant Observation in Applied Sociological Research – Sociology At Work

This is a detached observer where the researcher is neither seen nor noticed by participants.

Getting Grounded in the Field – Analyzing Participant Observation Data with MAXQDA’s Visual Tools

Sort of Big Brotherish, most likely. However, in public places like coffee shops, office building lobbies, airports, subway stations, or even public bathrooms the complete observer role may be the only means to collect the type of data you need. And with the ubiquity of video cameras, remote observation remains a viable option.

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Here the researcher is known and recognized by the participants and in many cases, the participants know the research goals of the observer. There is some interaction with the participants but the interaction is limited. Here the researcher is fully engaged with the participants.

She is more of a friend or colleague than a neutral third party.

While there is full interaction with participants, they still known that this is a researcher. This method is often used when studying remote indigenous populations or inner-city cultures. This is a fully embedded researcher, almost like a spy.

Non-participant observation

Here the observer fully engages with the participants and partakes in their activities. In customer research, this is like a secret shopper or the show Undercover Boss. Jorgensen Short Biography Danny L. Related Information. Close Figure Viewer.

This method belongs to these chapters:

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  1. Participant Observation.
  2. The Contender.
  3. Participant Observation -- Definition;
  4. Nearby words.
  5. Participant Observation?
  6. Participant Observation as a Tool for Understanding the Field of Safety and Security?
  7. 2. Observer as Participant.

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  • Family 1 for all groups of documents. This way, I can recall and compare field notes and interviews about the same household in the future by activating the household number variable.

    The Utility of Participant Observation in Applied Sociological Research – Sociology At Work

    The process was smooth and helped me deal with very unclear passages — timestamps allowed me to return and relisten to certain segments. As I read through my transcripts in the Document Browser , I identified themes and topics inductively, and I created a code to represent these ideas. At this stage, I tried to assign very broad codes to include multiple paragraphs. These broad codes helped me categorize large segments of experiences into different historical moments.

    This helped me to correct code assignments when necessary or to come up with new codes to better capture the meanings behind them. But even the broad codes that I was creating kept growing. Initially, I became a bit worried about whether I should sort out the hierarchical orders among the codes. Then I activated a group of codes e.

    Participant Observations

    I have also enjoyed reading the retrieved coded segments, which can be done simply by clicking on the squares. In the process, I often considered whether I could use a different code to capture these intersections, for example, about women who engaged with a lot of resources transfers with migrant workers. The screenshot below shows that I was trying to see how frequently these codes would appear among married women whose husbands had migration experience. Currently, I still do not have enough data to determine the strength of these relationships, but this tool worked as a good reminder for me to pay attention to different iterations of these themes in my observations and interactions with research partners.

    Through reading and analyzing the retrieved segments at the intersections and overlaps of codes, I have become more assured that I have been collecting interesting and relevant data about people, especially through my participant observations with women who have stayed in the village. While I will continue to collect this type of data in my work with the rest of the households, it will be equally important to see how migrant workers evaluate and comment on themes, such as the transfer of resources, migration experience, and emotional ties with their family members.