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Lecture 12

SOC221H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Street People, Retirement Community, Pearson Education

Course Code
Jayne Baker

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LEC 12
Randol Contreras interview:
research was on drugs and gangs in his hometown
saw himself as an insider and outsider while conducting his research
stickup kids
to ensure that law enforcement couldn’t subpoena his notes, he got a Federal
Certificate of Confidentiality, he applied for it in a government agency in
the U.S from the National Institute of Health
you apply for it, tell them what time of research you’re doing, and most
of the time, though not always, they give you a certificate
so if you’re stopped by police and you pull it out, theoretically, they can’t
do anything to you
he also told his study participants not to mention murders they committed,
cause thats something that police officers are always interested in
usually researchers use shield law to be protected from being subpoena
her understanding is that Canada does not have shield laws, but at the same
time the actual instances of a researcher being subpoena’d are very very
small in number, like 3 researchers in Canada in decades
sometimes he was complete participant, other times complete observer, and
then a semi-participant somewhere in the middle
when push comes to shove and researchers are actually conducting research,
these become lines in the sand
there’s a common misconception that complete participant means you are
doing exactly what those in the field are doing
belief that Contreras is also a stickup kid, that he is robbing drug dealers
in order to take on this complete participant role
this is not the case
he also spoke about whether you’re an insider in the field or an outsider
this def pops up in field research
if you’re an insider, does that mean you have great access to the
people you’re interested in speaking with? that definitely can
be a bonus
but if you’re an outsider, maybe you might observe something in
that sight that are otherwise taken for granted by an insider
this is debate, it isn’t a resolved question
Slide: Field Research
sometimes when you hear the word field research, you also hear the word
Roots in anthropology, ethnography
ethnography includes field research

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when you hear that term, it means that the researcher is most likely
using multiple methods
so ethnography is more like an umbrella term and in an ethnographic
study, a researcher will also be doing field research
immerse yourself in a culture
Some terms you hear:
“participant observation”
its includes field research
most likely means that the researcher is using multiple methods
most times interviews
shouldn’t be used synonymously, but ethnography does include
field research
the idea of an ethnography is its closest to what we think about
when we think about what anthropologists do-its this idea of
a complete immersion
the root of the word ethnography means a description of people,
from the vantage point of someone who is native to that
Slide: Ethnography
Ethnography: a methodology involving multiple methods, one of which is
field research.
Example: elite, single-gender private schools in Toronto (“Boy High” and
“Girl High”)
Why study these sites as an ethnographer would study a culture?
Field research (overt; semi-participant)
Qualitative interviews
Qualitative content analysis
Historical records
Slide: What kinds of questions?
field research is a qualitative method so this means that the kinds of questions
researchers ask may be emergent, they may not be pre-planned
so you may not know ahead of time what your precise research questions are
that said, the types of questions tend to be like: how do people in x context do
a particular thing?
types of questions that focus on types of people in a particular setting
questions require a lot of depth
field research is a kind of method that can be appropriate for a variety of
different sites
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