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As we reviewed in Chapter 11, field research can be a great way to gain unique insights into various social phenomena. For example, field research in criminology can include police ride alongs. Through this experience (as well as sophisticated social observation methods) we can gather rich data that would likely not be captured through other methods (i.e., surveys). As Chapter 11 discusses, there are a lot of different roles that a researcher can take in field research.
Take on the role of the observer-as-participant (p. 303). Watch the below clip from an episode of Cops (Season 32, Episode 4) and put yourself in the “field” as a researcher. Imagine you are a researcher examining the way police interact with citizens. Take note of the interactions police have with the citizens involved as you are watching it. After you’re done with the clip, review your notes, and discuss your research findings in a short paper.
This paper should be a minimum of 400 words. Find the episode here (Links to an external site.). ONLY OBSERVE THE THIRD INTERACTION. Skip to around the 13:28 mark of the video. The clip of the episode you should be viewing depicts a traffic stop in Santa Rosa.