Part I – Participant Observation Sociologists use research to collect information about society and apply their findings to everyday life in order to better understand the human condition. Sociologist

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Part I – Participant Observation

Sociologists use research to collect information about society and apply their findings to everyday life in order to better understand the human condition. Sociologists can investigate people in their natural environments by becoming part of their everyday settings to observe and study participants.

Imagine you are a practicing sociologist who is researching the behavior of social groups in social settings.

Conduct a participant observation in a setting where a group of people gather. Examples of places with groups include malls, grocery stores, libraries, restaurants, coffee shops, parks, schools, employee break rooms, parking lots, pubs, sporting events, or your local neighborhood.

Station yourself in a safe location where you can observe participants for 60 minutes without having to approach or engage the public. You are just observing people, not interacting with them.

Use the Field Study Observation Template to collect field notes on the following data about the individuals in your observation, as you perceive it:

  • Gender/sex
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Age

(Your numbers do not need to be exact, but try to make them as accurate as possible. You do not need to submit these notes with your assignment—they are only for you to reference to guide your observation.)

Part II – Reflection Report

Write a 525- to 700-word report about your observation. Include the following information:

1) Setting

  • Describe the setting for your observation, including the location, time of day (morning, midday, afternoon, evening), and weather.

2) Group Dynamics

  • What patterns of group behavior did you observe that may have been influenced by the setting?
  • What patterns of group behavior did you observe based on gender/sex?
  • What patterns of group behavior did you observe based on race/ethnicity?
  • What patterns of group behavior did you observe based on age?
  • Which cultural norms did you observe among your participants? Explain your answer in several sentences using at least one example.
  • What did you observe overall about the group dynamics of your participants? Explain your answer in several sentences using at least one example.
  • What social or economic factors might have influenced the group dynamics you observed? Explain your answer in several sentences.

3) Real-World Applications

  • Consider how you could use a participant observation exercise in the future to study patterns in other social groups, such as with families, coworkers, or other organizations.
  • Explain how observing social patterns could help your interactions in a group. Give at least one reason why improving your understanding of group dynamics can help you to succeed in culturally diverse environments.

Submit your assignment.

Part I – Participant Observation Sociologists use research to collect information about society and apply their findings to everyday life in order to better understand the human condition. Sociologist
SOC/100 v8 Field Study Observation Template Below are examples of ways that a sociologist might take field notes. Use any of these styles to guide your note-taking during your observation for this assignment. The charts are optional for you to use, and your notes do not need to be turned in with your assignment. You may create your own chart or use another method that works best for you. Change or add the categories or labels as needed for your group of subjects. Example Field Notes Example A: Table of Subjects Subject Estimated Age Estimated Race or Ethnicity Estimated Gender or Sex Around 12 Hispanic Male Maybe 40 Black Female Late 20’s White Other 10 Example B: Category Totals Category Variable Mark X for Number Observed Age Young/Child Age Teen Age Adult 20-40’s XXXX Age Adult 40-60’s XX Age Senior Race/Ethnicity African American XX Race/Ethnicity Asian Race/Ethnicity Caucasian XXXXX Race/Ethnicity Hispanic/Latino Race/Ethnicity Biracial/Other Gender/Sex Female XXXXXX Gender/Sex Male XXXXXXXX Gender/Sex Other Example C: Story Journal Saw the following: A family of five (white, mother and father look middle-aged, 3 kids: 2 boys, 1 girl, all young children). An African-American woman around 50 with a 5-year-old girl. An adult male, appears to be Asian. Two teen girls, likely Hispanic/Latino. Group of four middle-aged women (1 Native American, 1 biracial, 2 white). Your Field Notes Collect your field notes in the space below, using one of the note types from above or another method that works best for you. Additionally, include notes on any patterns of behavior and cultural norms that you observe in groups based on age, gender/sex, and race/ethnicity. Copyright 2020 by University of Phoenix. All rights reserved.

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