Getting Going

The observation of which I shall speak is, for lack of a better term, interactive observation. It is not like looking through a one-way glass at someone on the other side. You watch, you accompany, and you talk with the people you are studying.

Much of what you see, therefore, is dictated by what they do, and say. If something is important to them, it becomes important to you. Their view of the world is as important as your view of that world. You impose some research questions on them; they impose some research questions on you.

That interaction has its costs—most notably in a considerable loss of control over the research process. It also has benefits. It brings you especially close to ...

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