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University of Toronto Scarborough
Katherine( Katy) De Celles

Chapter 11- Qualitative Field Research Introduction - Anthropologists are especially associated with field research, and have contributed to its development as a scientific method. - Accumulation of empirical evidence is a demanding task, requiring extensive documentation, skills at observation and interviewing, sensitivity to situations, and the capacity to organize vast amount of material. Topics Appropriate to Qualitative Field Research - Qualitative research analyzes the context of the issue you are researching, so it gives a better understanding of the issue - Field research is especially appropriate to the study of those attitudes and behaviors best understood within their natural setting - Good places to apply field research methods is on campus, court rooms Nine Steps to Analyzing social settings 1. Practices- various behaviors; talking 2. Episodes- variety of events; divorce, crime, illness 3. Encounters- two or more people meeting and interacting 4. Roles and Social Types- analysis of positions people occupy and the behavior associated with those positions; occupations, family roles, ethnic groups 5. Social and Personal Relationships- behavior appropriate to pairs or sets of roles; mother-son 6. Groups and Cliques- small groups, friendship cliques, athl. Teams, work groups 7. Organizations- formal organizations; hospitals or schools 8. Settlements and Habitats- difficult to study large societies such as nations, but field researchers study small societies such as villages and neighborhoods 9. Subcultures and Lifestyles- How large numbers of people adjust to life in groups such as ruling class or an urban underclass Methodological Terms in Qualitative Field Research - Field Research incorporates a number of data gathering techniques and variations in perspectives concerning what questions should be asked and how they should be answered - Communicated through terms such as ground theory, interpretivism, ethnomethodology, phenomenology, social constructionism, institutional ethnography, extended case study and participatory action research Ethnography and Participant Observation - Both of these research methods are rooted towards the tradition of naturalism - Some see these methods as a way of studying any group, phenomenon and so forth, in its natural environment - Ethnography is historically associated with anthropology while participant observation has often been linked to sociology Case Study Design - A case study is conducted when the social researcher focuses attention on a single instance of social phenomena like a town, an industry, a community or an organization or a pers
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