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Direct Observation. Describe methods and goals of direct observation Carry out an unstructured observation on a segment of video, writing up notes, with as little analysis as possible. Direct Observations. Participant Observation Unstructured Direct Observation Structured Observation.

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direct observation
Direct Observation
  • Describe methods and goals of direct observation
  • Carry out an unstructured observation on a segment of video, writing up notes, with as little analysis as possible
direct observations
Direct Observations
  • Participant Observation
  • Unstructured Direct Observation
  • Structured Observation
6 differences between ordinary observer and participant observer
6 differences between (ordinary) observer and participant observer

1 PURPOSE

  • engage in activities appropriate to the situation
  • observe the activities, people & physical aspects of the situation
slide4

2. EXPLICIT AWARENESS

    • normally filter out much of what goes on in an activity, but not as a participant observer
  • 3. WIDE-ANGLE LENS
    • take in a much broader spectrum of information
  • 4. INSIDER/OUTSIDER Experience
    • do the activity and see what people around you are doing too, so can be both at the same time
  • 5. INTROSPECTION
    • -Normally take most of an experience for granted
    • -As a participant observer, find out what it feels like to do something
  • 6. RECORD KEEPING
slide5

Get close enough to people and make them feel comfortable enough in your presence so you can record information about their lives

alternate between roles of
Alternate between roles of

participant & observer

  • (active to passive),

participating observer (usual role for social research), passive

observing participant, active

what to do
What to do?

attend ceremonies (funerals, seasonal festive events)

  • do the work
  • be around and talk when conversation comes up
  • jokes
5 reasons to do participant observation to learn about culture
5 reasons to do participant observation to learn about culture

1 Can collect sensitive data, impossible as a stranger

STUDENT EXAMPLES

reasons to do participant observation to learn about culture
reasons to do participant observation to learn about culture

2. Reduces reactivity, get higher validity of data

(Beloksi visit)

reasons to do participant observation to learn about culture10
reasons to do participant observation to learn about culture

3. Helps formulate questions, as you understand culture better

(supervision in health post workers)

reasons to do participant observation to learn about culture11
reasons to do participant observation to learn about culture

4. Helps understand meanings, can make strong statements about cultural data you have collected

(telling mothers to boil water)

reasons to do participant observation to learn about culture12
reasons to do participant observation to learn about culture

5. Basis for general understanding of how social organization works

(emic concept of poverty absent)

5 rules to follow for making an entry into fieldwork
5 rules to follow for making an entry into fieldwork

1. Choose easy site over a difficult one, if all else is the same

rules to follow for making an entry into fieldwork
rules to follow for making an entry into fieldwork

2. Bring documentation about yourself and project

rules to follow for making an entry into fieldwork15
rules to follow for making an entry into fieldwork

3. Arrange to be introduced, have a contact

(Gongtala, Ephrosini)

rules to follow for making an entry into fieldwork16
rules to follow for making an entry into fieldwork

4. Prepare answers to questions expected to be asked

slide17
What will you do with this information?

What are you doing here?

What are your qualifications?

Why do you want to do this?

Who sent you?

Who is paying you?

What good to us is the work that you do?

Why are you working with the other group and not us?

How many children do you have?

Is it true about American women that they.......?

How much money do you make?

What does your camera cost?

Do you have some medicine?

rules to follow for making an entry into fieldwork18
rules to follow for making an entry into fieldwork

5. Get to know the physical and social layout of the scene

  • Ethnographies
  • Maps
  • Organizational charts
  • Internet
skills
Skills

Establish rapport

eye contact?

physical contact?

(materials about yourself, pictures)

skills21
Skills

Language esp. the sounds:

skills22
Skills

Explicit awareness (facial expressions, body language):

(Newars nose piercings)

skills23
Skills

Naiveté

skills24
Skills

Memory

skills25
Skills

Writing skills to expand what you observed

THICK DESCRIPTION

possible conflicting roles
Possible conflicting roles

participant or observer:

objectivity
Objectivity

Record your feelings and reactions to what you observe

consent issues
Consent issues:
  • Many political aspects
unstructured focused observations
Unstructured focused observations

Purpose is exploration

Speak in 5 different ways:

  • Body
  • Face
  • Eyes
  • Tone of voice
  • What we actually say (~20% of communication)
emphasis on note taking
Emphasis on note-taking
  • record what you see and hear, emphasize thick, detailed description
  • video and film technology helpful, but limited to field of lens
scripting format
Scripting format
  • Time, activities in sequence
  • Can record a timeline when activities occurred
levels of observation
Levels of observation
  • regional (often impractical)
  • community (walk around, do a map, go to markets, stores, temples)
  • neighborhood/compound (types of buildings, where walls are, how used)
  • household/event
  • individual
focal topic or subject
Focal topic or subject
  • person (follow child around)
  • location (meeting room for village committee?)
  • event (wedding or meal, or disciplining behavior)
  • have a guide like EFG
what to record
What to record?
  • who
  • where
  • when
  • what (break behaviors into discrete units)
what to record38
What to record?
  • why
  • key behaviors
  • what does not happen
  • maps and diagrams
description question matrix

Description Question Matrix

Spradley Participant Observation

Descriptive Question Matrix Pg. 82-3

practice exercise
Practice Exercise
  • Observing at mall
structured observation
Structured observation

always preceded by unstructured observations

Quantifiable record of behavior(s) or the outcome(s) of behaviors collected by a trained observer through the use of a pre-coded or partly coded data instrument

continuous monitoring
Continuous Monitoring

behavioral stream

  • behaviors observed in order, in context, get a sense of flow, duration of behaviors
  • prioritization, develop set of rules, focal actor (e.g. child age 2-5 in the kitchen), & set of priorities in relation to actor & other activities in order, develop a sense of what comes first
  • use codebook of “key behaviors” which are behaviors you have identified & defined from unstructured observations, Birdwhistell 1970 example lists body language
continuous monitoring45
Continuous monitoring
  • observer watches a subject(s) for a specific period of time & records their behavior as faithfully as possible, following a structured format with time, location & features of importance, tend to observe for an extended period of time

http://www.filmsdulosange.fr/kitchen-stories/

http://videodetective.com/home.asp?PublishedID=99843

spot check observations
spot check observations

observer appears at randomly selected places/times and records people’s activities when they are first encountered, recording behaviors in isolation from other behaviors (not part of behavioral stream)

rating observations
Rating observations

need to make a decision based on observation about the presence or absence of a particular feature or abstract quality, often along some sort of scale, may need judgment

rating observations49
Rating observations

clear definitions essential,

  • Clean
  • Dirty
reliability
Reliability
  • clear operational definitions required, considering all possibilities (determined from key informant what if situations)
  • need to train & standardize observers, look at intra-observer consistence over time, kappa or other measure
reactivity observer effect
Reactivity (observer effect)
  • record what you see (e.g. people eat with their backs to you)
  • ways to reduce:
    • repeated observations
    • extended visits
    • interact or not (perhaps minimal interaction is best?)
reactivity52
Reactivity

identify reactive/non-reactive behaviors

  • determine those behaviors which are highly reactive & those that aren’t
  • observing reactive behaviors is problematic
child feed care and xerophthalmia
Child feed / care and Xerophthalmia

Case-Control Study in Nepal 78 pairs aged 1-6 (hh with Vit. A Def.)

7 day-long (6a-8p) (blinded) continuous monitoring over 15 months, ≥2 months apart, recording key behaviors, one record per 5 min. (time, location, actor (of behavior), recipient, behavior, food/quantity

Findings:

  • Cases tended to receive food from another\'s already served food (? Small initial servings, so child requests food from others, more 2nd helpings
  • Large meal gatherings protective
  • Child neglect during feeding and other aspects of child care and care giving nurturing may directly influence quality of child\'s diet

Caregiver-child and child care behaviors more important than intra-household food allocation behavior in determining rural Nepali child\'s risk for xerophthalmia

participant observation of homeless youth in sf
Participant Observation of homeless youth in SF

June-Sept. 1997, Castro District, San Francisco

Two 4-5 hour sessions a week during afternoons and early evenings

Alternating week-end and weed-days to sample youth in neighborhood at different times

"sitting on sidewalks with youth while they were panhandling or selling goods and walking around the site with a youth as they interacted with their peers"

Included being ask to "move along" by police

Led to finding key informant and interviews

observation exercise
Observation Exercise

Observe segment of video (no sound)

Write continuous monitoring notes

Do not analyze, report what you see

exercise 2
Exercise #2

Visual information, not dialogue, or description of etic events, explanations, etc.

coding
Coding

Develop a scheme:

Consider what are behaviors, observations, events in the setting that are significant and make up a mnemonic code (discuss with team what elements will be) place in margin

  • Bernard and in exercise
  • Can modify afterwards

Discussed Session 7

sampling
Sampling
  • samples are usually not random but purposeful, or convenient
  • could do a cluster sample exercise, if wanted some element of randomness, and could also observe at random times
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