This clear, straightforward textbook embraces the practical reality of actually doing fieldwork. It tackles the common problems faced by new researchers head on, offering sensible advice and instructive case studies from the author’s own experience. Barbara Czarniawska takes us on a master class through the research process, encouraging us to revisit the various facets of the fieldwork research and helping us to reframe our own experiences. Combining a conversational style of writing with an impressive range of empirical examples she takes the reader from planning and designing research to collecting and analyzing data all the way to writing up and disseminating findings. This is a sophisticated introduction to a broad range of research methods and methodologies; it will be of great interest to anyone keen to revisit social research in the company of an expert guide.

Observation on the Move: Shadowing

Observation on the Move: Shadowing

The complexities of contemporary societies increase the difficulty of such traditional techniques of observation as participant observation and stationary direct observation. This chapter focuses on the technique of shadowing, as one way of avoiding those difficulties.

Varieties of observation

Most of the knowledge which people have about social relations is derived from uncontrolled observation, whether participant or nonparticipant. (Goode and Hatt, 1952: 120)

There are indeed variations in observation techniques, although they tend to blur in the field. The distinctions drawn here are merely to assist a methodological reflection by distilling traits that do not exist separately in research practice. The choice is always that of the researcher, and it is often an ethical as much as a methodological choice.

The anthropologist ...

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