Differences between emir” and “ethic” approaches and its importance in field research
Emil approach is regarded as an inductive or bottom-up approach. Emic approach is used when researchers give an account as well as a description of a particular culture in a community by analyzing the data collected and delivering appropriate categories and conceptual schemes that are important to the community being studied.
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When using Emic approach to study a certain population, researchers ignore previous theories or assumptions and concentrates on the subject matter being studied in order to let the participants as well as the data gathered speak to them.
This method helps in discovering appropriate themes, patterns as well as concepts. This method is mainly used for those topics that have not been heavily researched on. Its main advantage is its ability to appreciate the uniqueness of context being studied, respect for local perspectives as well as its ability to uncover unexpected findings. On the other hand, an etic approach is considered as a deductive approach.
It is a description, an account and an analysis that gives appropriate conceptual schemes that are relevant to all communities. It entails using an existing theory to find out whether the data collected and analyzed conform to previous studies. The main advantage of an etic approach is its ability to enable comparison across various context and populations. It also helps in the development of universal cross-cultural concepts (Headland, 1990).
How researcher affect the field being studied and how it should be taken into consideration
The researcher has the ability to influence the field of research. One method the researcher can affect the field of research is by selecting subjects that are mostly likely to give the desired results. In addition, some researchers may affect the field of study by selecting samples based on conveniences.
This occurs when a researcher opts to use volunteers as the only sample for the study. This happens in instances where volunteers happen to be the only available option and only represent a small part of the demography being studied. In most fields such as psychology, sociology and anthropology researchers use participants’ observation to study and analyze the reasons that make a group unique. This method is highly effective in studying internal relationships in group as well as societies.
In some instances, the observer often compromises his/her objective position when he/she becomes more intimate with the group. Some research designs such as the action research are often biased when analyzing the data collected since the design does not have a standard method for analyzing the collected data.
In quantitative research designs, some researchers affect the field of study by failing to include open ended questions in their questionnaires. Lack of open ended questions limits the respondents to the options given. This biasness affects the field of study as it does not give the participants being studied an opportunity to give new insights into the research.
To avoid affecting the field of study researchers should try to be objective in their studies as well as give the respondents opportunities to offer new insights into the research by including open ended questions in quantitative researches.
Advantages and disadvantages of recording field notes while in the field compared to after leaving the field
Field notes is the method that is used to collect relevant data of participants’ observations. Note taking entail capturing records of what is observed which include recording informal conversations, activities, reactions as well as feelings observed. The observer may opt to capture these details as they unfold or may decide to write the notes later after leaving the field.
One of the advantages of recording the field notes in the field is its ability to capture accurate data and record them in the manner in which they unfold. Recording the notes in the field helps the researcher to be in a position to include exact quotes where appropriate. One of the major shortcomings of recording the notes from the field is the inability of the researcher to hide hen taking notes.
This is because the participants may conceal their behaviors when they realize that they are being observed which may affect the reliability of the data collected. Recording of notes after leaving the field has the advantage of the participants being studied not discovering that their behaviors are being recorded hence they do not mask their behaviors.
Therefore, researchers are able to gather data that is more reliable. Conversely, recording notes after leaving the field can be disadvantageous as the researcher may not be able to remember all what happened, the sequence of events as well as not able to recall some important direct quotes (Kothari, 1985).
A resource person or an informant
A resource person or an informant is a person who is an associate at an organization where the researcher is conducting the research. A resource person is generally a person who is very informed about the subject matter or the organization under study. An informant is very instrumental in the research process as he/she gives the researcher appropriate information that is required for the study.
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The informant is a person who is very knowledgeable about the subject matter and guides the researcher in accessing all the required details needed to accomplish the study. An informant should be selected very carefully in order to make sure that the researcher selects people who have first-hand information about the community being studied. The informants should also comprehend the issues or problems that the researcher is investigating.
Informants are mainly community residents, employees, community leaders as well as local business owners (Dawson, 2002). The data collection process is very involving and mostly when one is dealing with illiterate people or a group that is not collaborating.
Some of the reasons why some people do not collaborate in a research process are because they are not conversant with the subject matter being investigated or they are biased to the person collecting the data. In this case, an informant becomes very important because he helps in providing appropriate information required to accomplish the study in a more convenient manner as well as much faster (Lofland, Snow, Leon and Lofland, 2006).
Some of the issues faced by the person conducting field research and how to address them
Some of the challenges that one experience while conducting a research includes; lack of resources, language barriers, failure of the respondents to cooperate as well as cultural differences. People conduct researches as an academic requirement or to investigate a particular phenomenon. Irrespective of the nature of the research undertaken, all researches undertaken are very expensive as they consume a lot of the researcher’s resources (Lofland, Snow, Leon and Lofland, 2006).
Failure of cooperation of the group being investigated is another problem that is experienced in a field research. In some instances languages as well as cultural barriers are other important hindrances that are common in field surveys. In order to overcome these challenges, the researcher should plan in advance and save money to finance the research. Alternatively, the researcher can look for a financer who is willing to fund the research.
The researcher should explain to the group being targeted the reason of the research being carried out and how it is important to the group being investigated. In addition, the researcher should get a person who belongs to the culture being studied in order for him to guide him or her accordingly to overcome cultural barriers. In instances where the researcher and the respondents cannot communicate because of language barriers, the researcher should get an interpreter who can facilitate the communication (Berg & Lune, 2011).
Berg, B., and Lune, H. (2011). Qualitative Research Methods for the Social Sciences. New York Prentice Hall
Dawson, C. (2002). Practical research Methods. New Delhi. UBS publishers
Headland, T. N. (1990). A dialogue between Kenneth Pike and Marvin Harris on emics and etics. New York: Prentice Hall.
Kothari C.R. (1985). Research Methodology: Methods and Techniques. New Delhi: Wiley Eastern Limited
Lofland, J.Snow, D, Leon, A. and Lofland, L. (2006). Analyzing Social Settings.