How to do a participant observation

Excited to do a participant observation?

 

But first, let us define

What is Participant Observation?

Not just Observation, its Participation!
Not just Observation, its Participation!

Participant observation is type of data collection method typically carried out the qualitative research paradigm. It is a traditionally used methodology in numerous disciplines, particularly cultural anthropology and (European) ethnology, less so in sociology, communication studies, human geography and social psychology. (wikipedia.org)

It also used qualitative ways of data collection, for example interviewing, observation, and document analysis, are already included underneath the umbrella term of “ethnographic methods” in recent times.  http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/466/996 

What could we learn from participant observation?

According to Participant Observation Field Guide,

Data obtained through participant observation be a check against participants’ subjective reporting with the items they believe and do. Participant observation is additionally useful for gaining a comprehension of the physical, social, cultural, and economic contexts by which study participants live; the relationships among and between people, contexts, ideas, norms, and events; and people’s behaviors and activities – how they work, the frequency of which, with whom.

In addition to it, through participant observation, researchers may uncover factors necessary for a thorough idea of the research problem but which were unknown once the study principal purpose is. This is the advantage of the method because, although organic beef get truthful answers to the investigation questions we ask, organic beef not always ask the correct questions.

Please feel free to visit their site for the full Guide of Participant Observation here.

Now, when I had conducted my participant observation I didn’t only learn the community’s way of living, but the basic principles of life according to what the people believe.

Now, lets go on doing the research.

1. Openly state your identity and purpose. Always provide an honest response from the people in the community.

2. Maintain confidentiality.

3.  Be prepared and willing to adapt to a variety of uncontrolled situations and settings.

4. Observe the following:

  • Appearance
  • Verbal behavior and interactions
  • Physical behavior and gestures
  • Personal space – How close people stand to one another
  • Human traffic
  • People who stand out

Please feel free to visit their site for the full Guide of Participant Observation here.