critpap5 - Alicia Deal 10-24-06 CJ 771 critical paper #5...

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Alicia Deal CJ 771 10-24-06 critical paper #5 Field Work Participation One major issue that qualitative researchers face with regards to field work: how involved should the researcher be in order to obtain relevant information pertaining to the research individuals, groups, and/or culture? Simply put, how much involvement is enough? There are basically three levels of participation in field work studies: peripheral membership, active membership, and complete membership (Adler & Adler, 1987). Peripheral membership entails marginal participation with the study subjects and little commitment to the study group/individual. Researchers who employ this method of obtaining information from members refrain from “participating in activities that stand at the core of group membership and identification” (Adler & Adler, 1987, 36). Essentially, they maintain a safe distance from the activities of the group in order to get a broader view of the social world in which groups inhabit. Active membership is more involved with the study group’s social world than peripheral membership. These researchers do engage in some of the group’s “core” activities that enable them to acquire a greater level of trust and acceptance. However, they do maintain a somewhat detached disposition toward the group’s activities as a means of remaining objective in their analysis of the group’s culture. Complete membership requires the greatest level of commitment and participation
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critpap5 - Alicia Deal 10-24-06 CJ 771 critical paper #5...

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