Application: Qualitative Field Research MethodsOneof the most famous examples of qualitative field research is thatconducted by cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead. In the 1920s, Meadlived amongst a group of Samoans on the island Ta’u and studied thatculture’s rites of passage, transitions, and attitudes concerning thetransition to adulthood. This work is an example of one type ofqualitative field research called participant observation.There are four main types of qualitative field research, each of whichhas strengths and limitations and situations for which each would bemore or less appropriate. These types include participant observation,systematic observation, intensive interviewing, and focus groups. Whatthey all have in common is the goal of understanding the thoughts,feelings, and experiences of individuals in a given setting. They allposition researchers as close as possible to the subjects, in order togain access and collect personal experiences. Researchers collect datain the form of texts and descriptions of behaviors and actions orpractices, which may subsequently be coded and analyzed for meaningfulinterpretation. For this Application Assignment, explore thefour main methods of qualitative field research and consider whyparticipant observation is archetypal. Then consider the strengths andlimitations of each type of qualitative field research method.The assignment (2–3 pages):Describe the four main methods of qualitative field research.Explain why participant observation is considered archetypal.Lastly,explain strengths and limitations of participant observation comparedto the other types of qualitative field research methods.Supportyour Application Assignment with specific references to all resourcesused in its preparation. You are to provide a reference list for allresources, including those in the Learning Resources for this course.
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