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By Kimberly Kempf-Leonard

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The heart of the participant observation method of fieldwork is to rely on personal relationships as a way of learning about another culture. Indeed, newly arrived fieldworkers are commonly childlike in their naivete´, and rely on their hosts for all sorts of practical knowledge and assistance. The acceptance of dependency and of a ‘‘student’’ role in relation to field informants facilitates the fieldworkers’ rapport with those they study, acknowledges the informants’ status and power, and eases access to local meanings and practices that are the focus of ethnographic research.

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L. ) (1969). Issues in Participant Observation: A Text and Reader. AddisonWesley, Reading, MA. Punch, M. (1986). The Politics and Ethics of Fieldwork. Sage, Newbury Park, CA. Rosaldo, R. (1989). Culture & Truth: The Remaking of Social Analysis. Beacon Press, Boston, MA. Snow, D. , Benford, R. , and Anderson, L. (1986). Fieldwork Roles and Informational Yield: A Comparison of Alternative Settings and Roles. Urban Life 14, 377À408. Warren, C. A. , and Hackney, J. K. (2000). Gender Issues in Ethnography,.

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Encyclopedia of Social Measurement (F-O) by Kimberly Kempf-Leonard

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