Advanced Sociology by P. L. Selfe (auth.)

By P. L. Selfe (auth.)

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2. The observer does not introduce subjective assumptions into the findings. The subjective element is located within the group observed. The observer must reveal these to show their influence. 3. The observer can seek to increase reliability and validity by conducting observations at different times and places. 2. It relies too heavily on the interpretations of the observer. It is too subjective. 3. The observer may become too involved with the group observed and fail to locate the meanings. 4.

4. g. from using knowledge of behaviour to label aperson). 1. Where the wider social structure is not taken into account it could be argued that knowledge gained is limited and partial. Class factors, for example, may be important in explaining aspects of behaviour. 2. Phenomenologists generally rely on interpretive methods to see how people obtain the meanings which form their knowledge. Such techniques are open to the methodological criticisms which can be levelled at all such analyses (see page 39).

Studies on the TV programme Candid Camera illustrate this! People are able to impose some apparent order and sense even where there is chaos around them. 4 Ethnomethodologists wish to uncover the rules that people apply in such situations when there has been no socialisation or training in how to respond. S In their studies they devise ways of challenging securely held common-sense assumptions about the world so that interaction no longer makes 'obvious sense' to them. 6 Their studies show how when dissonance occurs (lack of harmony between expectations and facts) then people try to impose some rational explanation for the events to make them understandable.

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