ERIC Number: ED251333
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
The Personal Effects of Participant Observation on the Participant Observer.
Personal effects felt by participant-observers as a result of their research and the impact of such effects on researcher self-concept are analyzed. Quotes from participant-observers who have studied various social phenomena indicate that they experienced transition and conflict between their observer and participant roles. At times they were strangers (observers) to those they were researching and at other times friends (participants). Personal effects and subsequent self-concept alternations occurred. For example, one researcher did field work involving mentally disabled individuals. He became so involved that his family ended up providing a home for one of the disabled girls. The author experienced a change in self-concept as a result of his research, which showed that counter-culture groups use the same approaches as the dominant culture to solve conflicts. Prior to his study he had very strongly associated himself with the counter-culture, but his personal orientation shifted away from this identification during the study. The conclusion is that personal effects of research should be acknowledged and discussed. (RM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Document contains light, broken print.