Introduction to Sociology

Terms in this set (22)

advantages:
Validity - produces rich qualitative data which shows picture of how people really live. Researcher can see for them selves
Insight - Allows researcher to gain empathy through personal experience . By acting as a member can get insight into their meanings, veiw points, values and problems - gives authentic data
Flexibility - more flexible and allows for an open mind. Researcher can follow up different directions/ideas if something interesting occurs - Whyte - 'learned answers to questions i wouldn't have had the sense to ask'
Practical advantages - Access to more suspicious groups as can gain rapport and trust - helpful when studying groups like gangs. Also useful to use where questioning ineffective - Cicourel - study of how police categories juveniles through unconscious assumptions it would be pointless questioning them

disadvantages:
Covert participation observation raises serious ethical difficulties - deceiving people to gain info on them is wrong - or participating in illegal/immoral activity in the course of research
Practical disadvantages - very time consuming - Whytes study took him 4 years to complete, need a trained researcher to recognise specific details, can be very demanding and stressful especially if done covertly
Representatives -small sample sizes as time consuming so hard to generalize from data
Bias - risk of getting to involved and therefore giving bias data, may begin to sympathise with the group so give bias data - Willis giving romanticized view of the lads to show them more positively
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