The purpose of this section is to describe exactly how the research (in this case field research)…


The purpose of this section is to describe exactly how the research (in this case field research) was carried out. Refer to your class notes and reference your textbook and the articles you’ve read to help with this section. You must include:

• What non participant observation is and an explanation of the implications of using the non-participant method of research.

• Where the participants were found.

• Why you chose the place where they were found.

• The approximate number of participants.

• How you got cooperation (if you used a gatekeeper).

• How you took your field notes.

• Any other procedures that are relevant.


In this section you write your description of the observation in great detail. Include at least the following points as a guideline, but as well this section should include all the details that were discussed in class. Refer to your textbook and the handouts from class.


• a detailed description of the environment or setting

• a detailed description of the “participants”; ie who belongs and who doesn’t, how you know this – gender, age, ethnicity, etc

• a detailed description of behaviour, action, activity, verbal behaviour, front and back stage behaviour


Use your field notes to look for patterns that will help you explain the behaviour you are explaining. You might also make reference to outside sources (course materials, other course materials, academic sources – making sure to cite), to help you find the patterns in behaviour you might find.

• Discuss the results of the data you collected – this is where you interpret and evaluate what you found.

• Analyze and interpret what you found. It is expected that you will make reference to your field notes.

• Did any patterns emerge? How did you recognize front and backstage behaviour?

• This is the section where you attempt to attach meaning to social behaviour and develop your hypothesis. What is the first order explanation and the second order explanation?


The hypothesis should be one clear statement that emerges from your observational research and is written in the form of a statement that suggests something about the meaning you have attached to the behaviour you have observed. At most the hypothesis can be two sentences, but ideally it should be one.

The hypothesis emerges from your analysis.


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