Re: Observant participant

From: Eugene Matusov
Submit: Post Message
Date: 06 Oct 1996
Time: 15:07:24


Hi Jesse--

It seems to me you raised a very important issue, "The only conflict that I see between my personal goals and the goals of this class is that I hope that I can observe the children carefully, and still be helpfull to them. What I mean is that I hope that it is possible to be both being a psychologist, and a friend/guider for the kids at the same time, they both seem like full time jobs. "

I think being both participant and observant in a target community begs for the question of what is the purpose of your research with regard of the target community, academic community, and a broader society. I personally see a role of researcher as a "bridger" of different communities that facilitates sharing of communities' life experiences. This understanding of the role of researcher guides me when a conflict of interests emerge between me being as a researcher and me being as a participant of a community that I'm studying. However, each conflict is new and requires its specific local solution. It is interesting to hear how Ed and Pablo resolve this issue.