Topics for Field Research

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Topics for Field Research

  1. 1. Chapter 10 Qualitative Field Research
  2. 2. Chapter Outline <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Topics Appropriate to Field Research </li></ul><ul><li>Special Considerations in Qualitative Field Research </li></ul><ul><li>Some Qualitative Field Research Paradigms </li></ul>
  3. 3. Chapter Outline <ul><li>Conducting Qualitative Field Research </li></ul><ul><li>Strengths and Weaknesses or Qualitative Field Research </li></ul><ul><li>Research Ethics in Qualitative Field Research </li></ul><ul><li>Strengths and Weaknesses of Qualitative Field Research </li></ul>
  4. 4. Topics for Field Research <ul><li>Attitudes and behaviors best understood in a natural setting </li></ul><ul><li>Social processes over time </li></ul>
  5. 5. Elements of Social Life Appropriate to Field Research <ul><li>Practices: talking, reading a book </li></ul><ul><li>Episodes: divorce, crime, illness </li></ul><ul><li>Encounters: people meeting and interacting </li></ul><ul><li>Role: occupations, family roles </li></ul><ul><li>Relationships: friendships, family </li></ul>
  6. 6. Elements of Social Life Appropriate to Field Research <ul><li>Groups: cliques, teams, work groups </li></ul><ul><li>Organizations: hospitals, schools </li></ul><ul><li>Settlements: neighborhoods, ghettoes </li></ul><ul><li>Social worlds: &quot;wall street&quot;, &quot;the sports world“ </li></ul><ul><li>Lifestyles (subcultures): urban, homeless </li></ul>
  7. 7. Field Research Paradigms <ul><li>Naturalism </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnomethodology </li></ul><ul><li>Grounded theory </li></ul><ul><li>Case studies and the extended case method </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional ethnography </li></ul><ul><li>Participatory action research </li></ul>
  8. 8. Preparing for Field Work <ul><li>Fill in your knowledge of the subject. </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss the group you plan to research with an informant. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop an identity with the people to be studied. </li></ul><ul><li>Realize that your initial contact with the group can influence your observations. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Question <ul><li>When you use field research, you’re confronted with: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>decisions about the role you’ll play as an observer </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>your relations with the people you’re observing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>both a and b </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>none of these choices </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>When you use field research, you’re confronted with decisions about the role you’ll play as an observer , and your relations with the people you’re observing . </li></ul>
  11. 11. Analyzing Existing Statistics <ul><li>Can be the main source of data or a supplemental source of data. </li></ul><ul><li>Often existing data doesn't cover the exact question. </li></ul><ul><li>Reliability is dependent on the quality of the statistics. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Durkheim’s Study <ul><li>Why do people kill themselves? </li></ul><ul><li>Failure </li></ul><ul><li>Love </li></ul><ul><li>Disgrace </li></ul><ul><li>Durkheim found that suicide rates, with proportion taken into consideration, were stable across nations. </li></ul><ul><li>However, he found that individuals committed suicide based on political upheaval and religion. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Durkheim’s Study <ul><li>Units don’t have to be people. </li></ul><ul><li>Dogs </li></ul><ul><li>Cats </li></ul><ul><li>Countries </li></ul><ul><li>Planets </li></ul>
  14. 14. Problems of Validity and Reliability <ul><li>Validity </li></ul><ul><li>Data we want doesn’t exactly cover what we want </li></ul><ul><li>Logical Reasoning </li></ul><ul><li>Replication </li></ul><ul><li>Reliability </li></ul><ul><li>Are the reports accurate? </li></ul><ul><li>Other factors </li></ul><ul><li>How far back records go? </li></ul><ul><li>Are they corrupt/biased? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there instances not covered in the data? </li></ul>
  15. 15. Comparative and Historical Research <ul><li>Involves the use of historical methods by sociologists, political scientists and other social scientists. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Comparative and Historical Analysis <ul><li>Cautions: </li></ul><ul><li>Can't trust the accuracy of records - official or unofficial, primary or secondary. </li></ul><ul><li>Must be wary of bias in data sources. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Question <ul><li>Which of the following occurs when you obtain a copy of someone else’s data and undertake your own statistical analysis? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>using quasi official statistics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>using official statistics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>secondary analysis </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>none of these choices </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Secondary analysis occurs when you obtain a copy of someone else’s data and undertake your own statistical analysis. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Some Positive and Negative Aspects of Bureaucracy

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