participant observation

a technique of field research, used in anthropology and sociology, by which an investigator (participant observer) studies the life of a group by sharing in its activities.

1930–35 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Example sentences
Ancient hominids cannot be understood through participant observation of modern people.
When you are working full time, you won't have the chance to do participant observation on this scale.
Call it your next big research project: years of participant observation of coffee shop culture.
Data were collected within a naturalistic setting with participant observation playing a major role.
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