Preview
Preview

Essay on Participant Observation: Understanding Society

No Works Cited
Length: 553 words (1.6 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Orange      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Participant Observation as the Most Effective Method of Understanding Society

All case studies require either overt or covert observation to collect
the information necessary to complete the study. Both covert and overt
have their advantages and disadvantages; they both add different but
similar ideas and theories to a study. These two methods have been
used in a variety of case studies but the ones that I am going to
focus on are James Patrick’s study of Glasgow gang’s, Laud Humphreys
study of the tea room trade in America and Ann Oakley’s study of first
time pregnancy with women in the UK. I am going to look at how
participant observation was used in these three studies and whether
the researcher used overt or covert observation to achieve the aim of
the case study.

In the first study I will look at is Laud Humphreys study of the tea
room trade in America in which the researcher Laud Humphreys used
covert observation, covert observation is where the researcher doesn’t
allow the person that they are studying to know that they are studying
them, this can be done in a variety of situations but seeing as though
this particular research piece was done on a very delicate subject the
researcher was probably better of to use covert than overt, the
activity that he was studying is illegal in America therefore
ethically the piece of research was wrong and he shouldn’t of taken
part to the level that he did ( his role was as a watch queen to see
if any officials were coming) however sometimes the rules have to be
broken to achieve the results wanted. Also as the researcher took down
car registration plates to see what sort of people actuall...


... middle of paper ...


...ch on them one good thing about
this is that this way of doing research gets more in depth information
for people as they know that you are researching them and therefore
they are more willing to talk however they also may not it just
depends on the person, Ann Oakley used interviews to do her piece of
research and also used questionnaires she did her research from this
method research is better than covert as the participants are more
likely and more willing to talk to you.

In my opinion overt research is better than covert research as it
allows you to get a more in depth account of the person involved’s
opinions and views and it also gives more information for the piece of
research. Both covert and overt observation techniques are useful in
helping the research to do the research and achieve the result
desired.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Participant Observation: Understanding Society Essay - Assess the usefulness of participant observation in sociological research. In this short essay I will give a skilled weighed argument of the usefulness and non-usefulness of a participant observation. I will back up the points made during this piece with sociologists I have studied. After, which I will then reach a conclusion where I will justify the argument in depth. Observation means watching behaviour in real-life settings. A covert participant observation is when the subject(s) you’re studying doesn’t know that you’re actually studying them....   [tags: Participant Observation] 1065 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Usefulness of Participant Observation as a Sociological Method Essay - The Usefulness of Participant Observation as a Sociological Method Unlike other research methods participant observation allows the sociologist to look at people in their natural environment. It is often referred to as a naturalistic approach. The research does not artificially interfere with people’s lives and they are free to act as normal. This allows the researcher to gain an insight which surveys cannot produce. This is illustrated by a well-known quote: “As I sat and listened, I learned the answers to questions I would not have the sense to ask if I had been getting my information solely on an interview basis.” By W.F....   [tags: Participant Observation] 610 words
(1.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Participant Observation Essay - Participant Observation Participant Observation is the study of a culture or society usually carried out by living for an extended period of time with its members. The participant-observer takes part in everyday life and carefully records such things as behaviour, events and conversations, in order to obtain a fully rounded picture of beliefs, social groupings and customs. There are two different forms of Participant Observation: Overt observation is when the subjects are aware they are being observed and allow the observer in to their lives, this is often the most criticised form due to bias, Covert observation is when the subjects are not aware they are being ob...   [tags: participant-observer] 490 words
(1.4 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay about The Pros and Cons of Participant Observation - The Advantages and Disadvantages of Participant Observation as a Research Method This essay will examine how participant observation is used as a research method. In the main body of this essay, this idea will be addressed by pointing out advantages and disadvantages of participant observation. I will give examples to support my argument. Participant observation is the main research method favoured by interpetitivists. It involves the researcher participating in a social group to observe and experience the world as a participant while still observing the group for future analasys of their behaviour from the researchers point of view....   [tags: Participant Observation] 493 words
(1.4 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Participant Observation Report Essays - The class attended for my Participant Observation Assignment was a yoga class at the Recreation Center at State University. Such a class is for one session and is forty-five minutes in length. During this class, we covered beginning yoga moves at a slow pace so everyone felt comfortable. The nature of the class consisted of simple yoga moves, serine atmosphere, and relaxing music. Learning theories that were address, applied, and by the instructor wanted us to use were Skinner’s Operant Conditioning, Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory, and Observational Learning....   [tags: Participant Observation 2014]
:: 2 Works Cited
2100 words
(6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Participant Observation in Anthropology Essay - Participant observation is a method of collecting information and data about a culture and is carried out by the researcher immersing themselves in the culture they observing. The researcher becomes known in the community, getting to know and understand the culture in a more intimate and detailed way than would be possible from any other approach. This is done by observing and participating in the community’s daily activities. The method is so effective because the researcher is able to directly approach the people in the community in a natural context as opposed to taking the participant out of their environment....   [tags: Anthropology Essays]
:: 6 Works Cited
1760 words
(5 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
The Pros and Cons of Participant Observation or Surveys as a Research Method - Introduction In our daily activities as humans, we consciously and unconsciously observe what people do around us, how they do it, and sometimes ask why they do what they do. In so doing we gain a better understanding of their ways of life. Anthropologist and sociologist too mention but a few, professions employ the daily observations we engage in as humans in a methodology called participant observation. Dewalt and Dewalt (2002:1) define participant observation as “a method in which a researcher takes part in the daily activities, events, rituals and interactions, of a group of people as one of the means of learning the explicit and tacit aspects of their life routine and culture.” Partici...   [tags: Social Research Methods]
:: 17 Works Cited
1933 words
(5.5 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Naturalistic Observation Report Essay - Naturalistic observation is a way of observing applicants in their own natural environment without the contestants realizing the observers are present. My observation took me to different places and settings to complete my assignment where I observed the subjects’ reactions and further relate it with concepts of psychology. This assignment is going to look into the observation at different settings by watching people as they go about their normal activities in their own habitats, and will briefly describe the concepts of superego, egocentrism, operant conditioning, pretend play, and lack of conservation....   [tags: Childhood Observation Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
1702 words
(4.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Observations in All Our Kin Essay - Carol Stack finds herself in a curious place as a young white woman venturing into a black neighborhood in hopes of alleviating negative stereotypes and bringing illumination into a semiosphere that is altogether ignored or even despised. While she defined her purpose as the attempt to “illustrate the collective adaptations to poverty of men, women, and children within the social-cultural network of the black urban family” (28), her methods are not merely those of an outside observer spouting back information, but truly that of an actively engaged participant....   [tags: Carol Stack]
:: 1 Works Cited
1290 words
(3.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Naturalisitic Observation Essay - Naturalistic observation takes place as scientists perform observations in a naturally occurring situation, without becoming actively involved. In performing naturalistic observations, a scientist does not make an effort to manipulate or change what is occurring. The purpose of this kind of experimentation is to create a detailed record of the events that happen and of perceptible associations between events, without having any control on the results. Apparently the objective in performing naturalistic observation is to arrange the data collection so that what is going on is comprehensible to the observer, but is not so important or conspicuous that they become the focus of attention or mat...   [tags: Naturalisitic Observation] 957 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]