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  • Research Methods
  •  To have an understanding of observation techniques. To know the strengths and limitations of this type of study.
  •  In pairs Imagine that you were going into the Big Brother house. Brainstorm ways that you would change your behaviour. What wouldn’t you do? What would you do? Discuss in pairs. 5 minutes. countdown/
  •  When conducting participative observational research the observer must be involved in the study groups everyday activities. They will notice how they behave and how they speak. A Number of issues can arise through this method.
  •  Non- participant: watches from a distance and is not directly involved with participants. Participant : Researcher interacts with the study group being observed. Two types of participant observation: 1) Covert – subjects do not know they arebeing studied.2) Overt - Subjects are aware they are beingstudied.
  • Research ethics :Duty of care the researcherowes to participants. Ethical principles :  Participants should be fully informed.  Participants should not be harmed.  Participants should not be specifically identified.
  •  This is a conflict between the ethical principles and the aim of the research. If the researcher asks for consent to observe the participants then they may act differently – Demand characteristics. If they don’t ask and participants are being observed they may act more naturally.
  •  Participant observation doesnt work unless the researcher gains access to the group. Many groups dont want to be studied. May be hard to get a true representation of the group. Participant observations maybe more effective as a longitudinal study.
  •  Researchers want to observe people within their natural environment. They may want to take notes of what they say and do but also they may want to record information- this can be an ethical issue. Sometimes the observer must play an active role within the group rather in order to gain more information.
  •  Getting access – You may not be able to access the environment you wish to observe. Staying in - hard to maintain trust and keep up your false identity. Getting out : Not easy to stop participating with group.
  •  High Validity Can study social interaction both verbal and non verbal. Empathy Researcher can see from the same perspective as the group. Develops trust therefore more information could be shared. Revealing secrets etc.
  •  Low reliability. Hard to replicate. Often samples are not representative- difficult to generalise. Time consuming Lots of pressure on individual Data will be hard to quantify.
  •  “ Glasgow gangs” James Patrick (1973) “ Wheeling and dealing” Alder (1985) “Italian gangs” (1973) William F Whyte “ Cocaine Kids” ( 1986) Williams.
  •  2218940492996010738 During the video you are going to take notes on : Who is he studying? How is he doing it? Any problems? Any ethical issues ? Strengths of the study
  • Design your own observational study.Include :Who you are going to observe.What your looking for.Benefits of this type of study.Problems you may face – ethics.Due in 17th October.