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The Pros and Cons of Participant Observation

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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Participant Observation as a Research Method

This essay will examine how participant observation is used as a
research method. In the main body of this essay, this idea will be
addressed by pointing out advantages and

disadvantages of participant observation. I will give examples to
support my argument.

Participant observation is the main research method favoured by
interpetitivists. It involves the researcher participating in a
social group to observe and experience the

world as a participant while still observing the group for future
analasys of their behaviour from the researchers point of view. The
researcher must decide how he will approach

the group he wishes to join. He may decide to become an 'overt'
participant observer, in which the researcher will join the group as a
participant and does not hide the fact

that he is observing, or he may decide to become a 'covert' particpant
observer, in which he becomes a normal participant in the setting
while conseali...


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