field research

(noun) The first-hand observation and data collection of people’s behavior in their natural environment.

Example: Interviewing people at a public park or observing people’s behavior at a football game.

Audio Pronunciation: (field re·search)

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Usage Notes:

  • In this instance, field refers to the natural settings of people instead of research conducting in a laboratory or library.
  • A type of qualitative research.
  • Howard Becker (1928), Robert Park (1864–1944), and W.I. Thomas (1863–1947) are leading figures in the development of field research and part of the Chicago School (also called Ecological school) of sociology.
  • Field research is typically longitudinal such as participant observation.
  • Field notes are taken during field research.
  • Observation in the field is either passive, where no direct interaction is made with the subjects or participatory, where a researcher actively engages in the activity with the subjects under study.
  • Also called:
    • fieldwork (field work, field-work)
    • field study
    • qualitative ethnography
  • A (noun) field researcher conducts field research.

Additional Information:

Related Terms: 

 


Works Consulted

Abercrombie, Nicholas, Stephen Hill, and Bryan Turner. 2006. The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology. 5th ed. London: Penguin.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. 5th ed. 2011. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Bruce, Steve, and Steven Yearley. 2006. The SAGE Dictionary of Sociology. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Brym, Robert J., and John Lie. 2007. Sociology: Your Compass for a New World. 3rd ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Griffiths, Heather, Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Gail Scaramuzzo, Tommy Sadler, Sally Vyain, Jeff Bry, Faye Jones. 2016. Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, TX: OpenStax.

Jary, David, and Julia Jary. 2000. Collins Dictionary of Sociology. 3rd ed. Glasgow, Scotland: HarperCollins.

Kendall, Diane. 2011. Sociology in Our Times. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Macmillan. (N.d.) Macmillan Dictionary. (https://www.macmillandictionary.com/).

Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Princeton University. 2010. WordNet. (https://wordnet.princeton.edu/).

Random House Webster’s College Dictionary. 1997. New York: Random House.

Scott, John, and Gordon Marshall. 2005. A Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Shepard, Jon M. 2010. Sociology. 11th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Shepard, Jon M., and Robert W. Greene. 2003. Sociology and You. New York: Glencoe.

Turner, Bryan S., ed. 2006. The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

 

How to Cite the Definition of Field Research

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “field research.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved December 18, 2018 (https://sociologydictionary.org/field-research/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

field research. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/field-research/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “field research.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed December 18, 2018. https://sociologydictionary.org/field-research/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“field research.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 18 Dec. 2018. <https://sociologydictionary.org/field-research/>.