Sociologists use research to collect information about society and apply their findings to everyday life to better understand the human condition. Sociologists can investigate people in their natural environments by becoming part of their everyday settings to observe and study participants.
Imagine that you are a practicing sociologist who is researching the behavior of social groups in social settings.
Conduct a participant observation in a setting where a group of people gather. Examples of places with groups include malls, grocery stores, libraries, restaurants, coffee shops, parks, schools, employee break rooms, parking lots, pubs, sporting events, or your local neighborhood.
Station yourself in a safe location where you can observe participants for 60 minutes without having to approach or engage the public. You are just observing people, not interacting with them.
Use the Field Study Observation Template to collect field notes on the following data about the individuals in your observation, as you perceive it:
(Your numbers do not need to be exact, but try to make them as accurate as possible. You do not need to submit these notes with your assignment—they are only for you to reference to guide your observation.)
Write a 525- to 700-word report about your observation. Include the following information:
2) Group Dynamics
3) Real-World Applications