Community Research for Participation: From Theory to Method

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Other researchers have taken a different approach to explaining how to conduct observations. The first of these elements includes the physical environment. This involves observing the surroundings of the setting and providing a written description of the context. Next, she describes the participants in detail.

Community research for participation From theory to method

Then she records the activities and interactions that occur in the setting. In her book, MERRIAM adds such elements as observing the conversation in terms of content, who speaks to whom, who listens, silences, the researcher's own behavior and how that role affects those one is observing, and what one says or thinks. To conduct participant observation, one must live in the context to facilitate prolonged engagement ; prolonged engagement is one of the activities listed by LINCOLN and GUBA to establish trustworthiness.

Qualitative Research for Public Health and Clinical Investigation

Living in the culture enables one to learn the language and participate in everyday activities. Through these activities, the researcher has access to community members who can explain the meaning that such activities hold for them as individuals and can use conversations to elicit data in lieu of more formal interviews. When I was preparing to conduct my ethnographic study with the Muscogee Creek women of Oklahoma, my professor, Valerie FENNELL, told me that I should take the attitude of "treat me like a little child who knows nothing," so that my informants would teach me what I needed to know about the culture.

I found this attitude to be very helpful in establishing rapport, in getting the community members to explain things they thought I should know, and in inviting me to observe activities that they felt were important for my understanding of their culture. DeWALT and DeWALT support the view of the ethnographer as an apprentice, taking the stance of a child in need of teaching about the cultural mores as a means for enculturation. KOTTAK defines enculturation as "the social process by which culture is learned and transmitted across generations" p.

DeWALT and DeWALT extend this list of necessary skills, adding MEAD's suggested activities, which include developing tolerance to poor conditions and unpleasant situations, resisting impulsiveness, particularly interrupting others, and resisting attachment to particular factions or individuals.

Participatory action research - Wikipedia

ANGROSINO and DePEREZ advocate using a structured observation process to maximize the efficiency of the field experience, minimize researcher bias, and facilitate replication or verification by others, all of which make the findings more objective. This objectivity, they explain, occurs when there is agreement between the researcher and the participants as to what is going on.

Sociologists, they note, typically use document analysis to check their results, while anthropologists tend to verify their findings through participant observation. BERNARD states that most basic anthropological research is conducted over a period of about a year, but recently there have been participant observations that were conducted in a matter of weeks.

In these instances, he notes the use of rapid assessment techniques that include. This means going into a field situation armed with a lot of questions that you want to answer and perhaps a checklist of data that you need to collect" p. BERNARD notes that those anthropologists who are in the field for extended periods of time are better able to obtain information of a sensitive nature, such as information about witchcraft, sexuality, political feuds, etc.

By staying involved with the culture over a period of years, data about social changes that occur over time are more readily perceived and understood. BERNARD and his associates developed an outline of the stages of participant observation fieldwork that includes initial contact; shock; discovering the obvious; the break; focusing; exhaustion, the second break, and frantic activity; and leaving.

In ethnographic research, it is common for the researcher to live in the culture under study for extended periods of time and to return home for short breaks, then return to the research setting for more data collection. Researchers react differently to such shock. Some may sit in their motel room and play cards or read novels to escape. Others may work and rework data endlessly. Sometimes the researcher needs to take a break from the constant observation and note taking to recuperate.

When I conducted my dissertation fieldwork, I stayed in a local motel, although I had been invited to stay at the home of some community members. I chose to remain in the motel, because this enabled me to have the down time in the evenings that I needed to write up field notes and code and analyze data. Had I stayed with friends, they may have felt that they had to entertain me, and I would have felt obligated to spend my evenings conversing or participating in whatever activities they had planned, when I needed some time to myself to be alone, think, and "veg" out.

The aspects of conducting observations are discussed above, but these are not the only ways to conduct observations. Through freelisting, they build a dictionary of coded responses to explain various categories.

What is a Survey – Definition, Methods, Characteristics and Examples

They also suggest the use of pile sorting, which involves the use of cards that participants sort into piles according to similar topics. The process involves making decisions about what topics to include. A different approach to observation, consensus analysis , is a method DeMUNCK and SOBO describe to design sampling frames for ethnographic research, enabling the researcher to establish the viewpoints of the participants from the inside out.

This involves aspects of ethnographic fieldwork, such as getting to know participants intimately to understand their way of thinking and experiencing the world. It further involves verifying information gathered to determine if the researcher correctly understood the information collected. The question of whether one has understood correctly lends itself to the internal validity question of whether the researcher has correctly understood the participants.

Whether the information can be generalized addresses the external validity in terms of whether the interpretation is transferable from the sample to the population from which it was selected. They suggest using a nested sampling frame to determine differences in knowledge about a topic. To help determine the differences, the researcher should ask the participants if they know people who have a different experience or opinion of the topic.

Seeking out participants with different points of view enables the researcher to fully flesh out understanding of the topic in that culture.

Introduction

They suggest that the researcher should:. Look at the interactions occurring in the setting, including who talks to whom, whose opinions are respected, how decisions are made. Also observe where participants stand or sit, particularly those with power versus those with less power or men versus women.

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Counting persons or incidents of observed activity is useful in helping one recollect the situation, especially when viewing complex events or events in which there are many participants. Listen carefully to conversations, trying to remember as many verbatim conversations, nonverbal expressions, and gestures as possible. To assist in seeing events with "new eyes," turn detailed jottings into extensive field notes, including spatial maps and interaction maps.

Look carefully to seek out new insights.


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Keep a running observation record. He suggests that, to move around gracefully within the culture, one should:. He further shares some tips for doing better participant observation pp. It may be necessary to refocus one's attention to what is actually going on.

This process involves looking for recurring patterns or underlying themes in behavior, action or inaction. Being attentive for any length of time is difficult to do. One tends to do it off and on. One should reflect on the note taking process and subsequent writing-up practices as a critical part of fieldwork, making it part of the daily routine, keeping the entries up to date.

One should also consider beginning to do some writing as fieldwork proceeds. One should take time frequently to draft expanded pieces written using "thick description," as described by GEERTZ , so that such details might later be incorporated into the final write up. One should take seriously the challenge of participating and focus, when appropriate, on one's role as participant over one's role as observer. Fieldwork involves more than data gathering. It may also involve informal interviews, conversations, or more structured interviews, such as questionnaires or surveys.

It is natural to impose on a situation what is culturally correct, in the absence of real memories, but building memory capacity can be enhanced by practicing reliable observation. If the data one collects is not reliable, the conclusions will not be valid. Sometimes, he points out, one's expertise is what helps to establish rapport. Having good writing skills, that is, writing concisely and compellingly, is also necessary to good participant observation.

Maintaining one's objectivity means realizing and acknowledging one's biases, assumptions, prejudices, opinions, and values. The process of mapping, as he describes it, involves describing the relationship between the sociocultural behavior one observes and the physical environment. The researcher should draw a physical map of the setting, using as much detail as possible. This mapping process uses only one of the five senses—vision. If you are intrigued, you will be pleased to know that what you are doing is a subdiscipline of anthropology called cultural ecology" p.

It involves looking at the interaction of the participants with the environment. All cultures, no matter how simple or sophisticated, are also rhythms, music, architecture, the dances of living. To look at culture as style is to look at ritual" p. KUTSCHE refers to ritual as being the symbolic representation of the sentiments in a situation, where the situation involves person, place, time, conception, thing, or occasion. Ritual and habit are different, KUTSCHE explains, in that habits have no symbolic expression or meaning such as tying one's shoes in the same way each time.

They indicate that counting, census taking, and mapping are important ways to help the researcher gain a better understanding of the social setting in the early stages of participation, particularly when the researcher is not fluent in the language and has few key informants in the community.

https://xabaquqe.tk Social differences they mention that are readily observed include differences among individuals, families, or groups by educational level, type of employment, and income.

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