The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #81350   Message #1493711
Posted By: wysiwyg
26-May-05 - 01:03 PM
Thread Name: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
Azizi, what is your opinion about the ethical considerations described in the following:

Disguised Field Observations:
Okay, this gets a little sticky. In Disguised field analysis the researcher pretends to join or actually is a member of a group and records data about that group. The group does not know they are being observed for research purposes. Here, the observer may take on a number of roles. First, the observer may decide to become a complete-participant in which they are studying something they are already a member of. For instance, if you are a member of a sorority and study female conflict within sororities you would be considered a complete-participant observer. On the other hand you may decide to only participate casually in the group while collecting observations. In this case, any contact with group members is by acquaintance only. Here you would be considered an observer-participant. Finally, if you develop an identity with the group members but do not engage in important group activities consider yourself a participant-observer. An example would be joining a cult but not participating in any of their important rituals (such as sacraficing animals). You are however, considered a member of the cult and trusted by all of the members. Ethically, participant-observers have the most problems. Certainly there are degrees of deception at work. The sensitivity of the topic and the degree of confidentiality are important issues to consider.