“Participant observation” is one of social anthropology’s primary research methods. It involves the researcher participating in and observing a community’s activities and events, in order to gain an in-depth understanding of the social, cultural and political processes at play.
When conducting participant observation, the researcher will usually work with a particular community, organisation or group over an extended period of time, taking part in their everyday activities, attending their events regularly, and collecting data in the form of notes, photographs and recordings. When writing about their findings later, the researcher can change the names and identifying information of the individuals/organisations involved to protect their anonymity, if desired.
For the After the Eighth project, I am interested in conducting participant observation with organisations involved in Irish abortion activism. If your group would like to learn more, please get in touch using the form below so that we can discuss the possibility in further detail.