Tag Archives: participant observation

The strengths and limitations of covert participant observation

Covert participant observation or ethnography is where the researcher does not reveal that he is actually a researcher. There are different degrees to which ethnographic research may be covert – fully covert research is where every member of the group … Continue reading

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Some (Relatively) Recent Examples of Participant Observation Studies

Participant observation is one the main research methods on the A level sociology syllabus, but many of the examples in the main text books are painfully out of date.  This post provides some more recent examples of research studies which … Continue reading

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Sociological Research on Gangs

In the aftermath of England’s ‘summer of violent disorder’ in 2011, the British Prime Minister David Cameron was unequivocal in apportioning blame: ‘At the heart of all the violence sits the issue of the street gangs. Territorial, hierarchical and incredibly … Continue reading

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Participant Observation – Essay Plan

Assess the strengths of Participant Observation in Social Research (16) The main strength of using Participant Observation is that it usually yields extremely valid data compared to most, if not all, other research methods. There are numerous reasons for this. … Continue reading

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Participant Observation in Social Research

Participant Observation is where the researcher joins in with the group being studied and observes their behaviour. This post covers the theoretical, practical and ethical strengths and limitations of using overt and covert participant observation in social research. Participant observation … Continue reading

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Learning to Labour by Paul Willis – Summary and Evaluation of Research Methods

Participant Observation in the Context of Education Given the practical and ethical problems of conducting participant observation in a school setting, there are only a handful of such studies which have been carried out in the UK, and these are … Continue reading

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