Participant Observation

Participant observation is the process of entering a group of people with a shared identity to gain an understanding of their community. This is achieved by gaining knowledge and a deeper understating of the actors, interaction, scene, and events that take place at the research site. Through the experience of spending time with a group of people and closely observing their actions, speech patterns, and norms, researchers can gain an understanding of the group. As part of the tradition of qualitative methods, qualitative researchers gather data to build theory via interviews, focus groups, material culture analysis, and participant observation. Participant observation requires two skill sets: first, observing the group and taking notes on what is going on in a group, and second, eloquently ...

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