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26 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Six characteristics of field research
1. Qualitative - and most of the analysis is qualitative too
2. Occurs in a natural real-world setting
3. Used when looking at interactions within small groups or small group functioning
4. No manipulation - separates this from field experiments
5. Comprehensive, but with a shifting focus of attention - looking at different aspects of what you want to study
6. Categorization is key, and is constantly refined
Problems in Field Research
1. Selecting a suitable site
2. entering the site, making yourself adequately known without disrupting normal interactions (mode of entry and permission)
3. Are you ok with being a 'spy'?
4. Researcher's identity: how much do you tell them about yourself?
5. how much should you reveal about your study?
6. Should you be an outsider or an insider, and what impact will each have on your study?
7. Exploitation: should you give things to them since you are taking info from them? and how could this affect your study?
ethical issues: are you invading other people's privacy?
Six Major things that field researchers look at
1. Act: any situation that is brief and discrete
2. Activities: acts that are regular and ongoing
3. Meanings: what things mean to people - their experiences during acts and activities
4. Participation: has to do with level and types of involvement
5. Relationships: cliques, friendship networks, activity networks, between leaders and followers
6. Setting: how it controls and directs activities, how it symbolically represents key elements
Roles/Positioning Ray Gold
Complete participant: spy
Participant-observer: has a research identity when in the field, but participates enough that people usually just think he's a participant
Observer-participant: maintains a position of observer/researcher, but participates enough to become 'part of the scene'
Complete observer: retains aloof researcher identity - don't participate at all
Roles/Positioning Snow et al.
Covert or Overt researcher identity: ardent activist/controlled skeptic or buddy researcher, credentialed expert
1. Ardent Activist
2. Controlled skeptic: pretend to be interested in the group - you'll get info in greater quantity and completeness than a full member would, and they expect you to ask questions
Buddy Researcher: let them know you're an outsider, but they accept you as a part anyways
Credentialed expert: doesn't do much to be accepted into the group
Schatzmann and Strauss Forms of . . . (4)
S&S Forms of Watching
1. watching from outside - physically outside
2. passive presence
3. limited interaction: interact with some ppl, but keep it fairly limited
4. Active Control: mini-experiments - try things and see how people react to you.
5. observer as participant
6. Spy
S&S Forms of Listening
1. Eavesdropping: get close enough to hear what people are saying, but act distracted
2. Situational Convo: appears to be a casual convo to those around you, but you're actually gathering info
3. Interviewing: can be unstructured, semi-structured, or fully structured
Things to Consider in Observation
1. Personal Characteristics, and what led you to those conclusions
2. Behavior - categorize!
Personal Characteristics to Observe
1. Race
2. Sex
3. Age
4. Dress
5. Role
6. Actions (includes communications, both verbal and nonverbal)
7. Marital Status
Things to look for when observing behavior
1. Quality and attitude of the behavior
2. nature of the act
3. Frequency
4. durationg
5. establish what is normal
6. look for a hierarchical structure
Things to remember when observing behavior
1. strive for representativeness
2. record in chronological order
3. divide interactions into stages to provide a template and help you understand
4. establish what is 'normal'
5. use comparative analysis - look at things that are supposed to be the same/similar and note the real differences/similarities
5. Looking tells you what, asking tells you why - and why gives you the meaning
6. Continually develop hypotheses and test them - always trying to prove your assumptions WRONG
Tips for Field Research Notes
1. Make them VERY detailed - they ARE your data
2. Write chronologically
3. develop theories and hypotheses within your notes
4. REWRITE your notes soon after you originally take them - helpful if in a word processor
5. develop shorthands
6. protect confidentiality - your notes CAN be subpoenaed
7. keep a codebook of shorthands and codes/categories
8. Always distinguish paraphrase from quote!
9. Record your actions and words too, and their reactions
10. Get the vernacular - don't just translate it
11. Consider the physical setting and what's going on around you
12. Never rely solely on a recording device - they break & background noise sucks - ALWAYS ask before recording someone
13. ALWAYS use a pencil!!
Main goal of using unobtrusive research
to overcome the reactive problem
Manifest vs. Latent
Manifest: obvious content
Latent: implied content
How do you code in content analysis?
Much like setting up a survey
must have mutually exclusive and exhaustive choices
must have detailed and clear instructions in order to increase reliablility
How do you establish reliability in content analysis?
-Use more than one coder
- Correlation between coders should be at least .7 (when rounded)
- Correlate with other known reliable measures
Content Analysis at the Turn of the Century
-Before the invention of public opinion polls
-Mass media studies: study what newspapers wrote about most to see what people wanted to hear
-beginning of analysis of electronic media
-'social barometer'/'social weather'
Content Analysis during the Depression Era
-rise in prevalence of electronic media
-rise of fascism
-Media as a CAUSE instead of an effect - 'march to war'
-improvements in empirical methods
-emphasis on symbols, propaganda, attitudes, values, stereotyping, etc.
-analyzing children's books and textbooks to see what everyone's learning
Content Analysis in WWII
Key thing: propaganda studies
-efforts to gauge effects of propaganda
-using content analysis as a means of intelligence gathering
-many successful predictions of Nazi actions from propaganda
Key insights
-Content meaning is not absolute: sender vs. receiver intrepretation are different
-more emphasis on qualitative study
Content Analysis: Post WWII
-moved into other disciplines: psych, educ. research, history, etc.
-increasing sophistication of uses - dress, vocab, marketing, political speeches
-content analysis used to study cultural indicators
-Television, and now internet and videos (we can watch movies more than one time now - greater influence on peeps) - multitasking a new source of research topics
- computer not only a subject of research, but also a tool for analysis
Comparative Research
doing unobtrusive research using ecological data
Distinguishing between areal and social aggregate units
Aggregate: a single number that represents the unit as a whole
Areal: deals with areas, like city, town, country, etc.
Social: social boundaries - indicated by who is a member
Rates vs. Raw numbers in Comparative Research
Rates: used to compare aggregates of different sizes
-be careful when choosing your base! (i.e. per 100, 1,000, 100,000, etc.)
-the rarer something is, the larger the base should be
Concerns when dealing with bases
MUST convert bases when comparing stats w/different bases
-what type of problems/limitations/interpretations does your base generate?
-what do you want your base to do?
Reliability issues in comparative research
-Aggregates are more reliable because they summarize the attitudes/actions of a million people
Issues of bias
-not always unobtrusive
-some statistics are not accurate (like executions)
often a bigger deal for desription or case-comparison than for explanatory issues