What is qualitative secondary analysis? How can it be most effectively applied in social research? This timely and accomplished book offers readers a well informed, reliable guide to all aspects of qualitative secondary analysis. The book: Defines secondary analysis. Distinguishes between quantitative and qualitative secondary analysis. Maps the main types of qualitative secondary analysis. Covers the key ethical and legal issues. Offers a practical guide to effective research. Sets the agenda for future developments in the subject. Written by an experienced researcher and teacher with a background in sociology, the book is a comprehensive and invaluable introduction to this growing field of social research.

Participant Observation

Participant observation is data collection over a sustained period by means of watching, listening to, and asking questions of, people as they follow their day-to-day activities, while the researcher adopts a role from their setting and partially becomes a member of the group in question, as in doing ethnography.

Section Outline: Blending in. Balance of participation and observation. Shift from observation to participation. Theoretical background of participant observation. Potential problems of fieldwork: making field notes; personal reactions; organising records; selectivity. The ‘double shift’.

There is an attractive commonsense about doing social research by watching (and listening to) other people going about their daily business. To avoid disrupting their goings-on, and drawing attention to ourselves as observers, we can blend in by adopting a role. If ...

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