AC Participant Observation and Unobtrusive Observation Research Paper

Activity 4: Participant Observation and Unobtrusive Measures (100 points)

Your Activity responses should be both grammatically and mechanically correct and formatted in the same fashion as the Activity itself. If there is a Part A, your response should identify a Part A, etc. In addition, you must appropriately cite all resources used in your response and document them in a bibliography using APA style. (100 points) (A 4-page response is required.)

Part A: Unobtrusive Observation

This assignment will cover the two main research designs. The first part of the assignment will address doing an unobtrusive observational exercise. For this exercise, you will need to position yourself somewhere where you can observe a large group of people. This can include, but is not limited to a bus stop, office lobby, or any location of your choice so long as it includes a large enough group of people that you can observe. Please plan to take one hour to observe the population. The purpose of your observational study is to observe the level of personal engagement that men or women do while waiting in the location of choice. For this study, you are to take field notes and record the number of:

  • The number of males vs females observed
  • If the participants were reading (books, newspapers, magazines)
  • If the participants were using cell phones and/or tablets
  • If the participants were talking to others
  • Did the participants do nothing? i.e. just look around.
  • Make notes on anything that you feel is important as well.

Then, using the field notes, please describe, analyze, and interpret the findings from your observations. Be sure to discuss the number of males to females that you observed. Discuss the most prevalent activities the individuals did (male v female). Was it reading, using cell phones and/or tablets, or talking to each other? Then conclude with a discussion as to how men and women are similar and different in their level of engagement in your location of choice.

Part B: Case Studies

The second part of the assignment is to do an unobtrusive case study of the television show COPS. I have included three episodes for you to watch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1GTnAYrYYw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SsPASVL8aQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0B-L3Y1Bm7g

The purpose of this case study is to observe how reality television shows represent crime. When making your observations and notes record the following:

  • The race of the offender, the police officer, and the victim (if present)
  • The gender of the offender, the police officer, and the victim (if present)
  • The types of crimes that the police are being called to address
  • If the accused offender was arrested or let free
  • How does the show present the offender in your view?
  • How does the show present law enforcement in your view?

Then take the information and discuss your observations of the show. Answer if minority offenders are over represented in the show. Discuss how law enforcement is represented in the show? Do you feel that the show COPS accurately represents crime or not? Discuss any other observations that you feel are important to note.

Conclude with a discussion as to which design (case study or unobtrusive observations) you feel can be more advantageous for addressing issues within the criminal justice system. Include three points to support your answer.

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