SDSU How to Immerse in A Culture without Contaminating the Field Essay

San Diego State University

Question Description

I’m studying for my Mathematics class and need an explanation.

a 300 to 600-word response in which you addressed

How may a researcher immerse themselves in a culture without contaminating the field?

Three references

Prepare at least two substantive comments (50-100 words) for the posts below:

First one,

A researcher can immerse themselves in culture by assimilating to what is around them and this can vary by setting some examples are geographical location, industry, ethnicity, gender or religious group. Once the researcher has placed themselves into the fieldwork, they are then able to conduct observations, conversations, and collect information about the group they are studying (Glesne, 2016). The relationship that the researcher takes within the community is dependent upon the methodology that they chose to utilize such as participant-observer or observer-participant (Glesne, 2016).

Clark (2016) believes that research is not a passive experience. If a researcher doesn’t want to contaminate the field the researcher needs to take an active role in the situation, they are trying to gather qualitative data in. Engagement with others is an important part of the qualitative research gathering method and it helps with building trust within the cultural setting the researcher is working in (Clark, 2016).

When it comes to Ethnography, the research can sometimes be intrusive to the people who are being observed and Glesne (2016) said that it is important to learn from the participants about their behaviors. When a researcher submerses themselves into another culture hopefully the people are willing to accept that researcher, but there are times when people do not want to let others who are different from themselves into their personal circle. Clark (2016, as cited by Hammersley, 1995) “participation is almost always voluntary” but that does not mean the people engaging in the research accept the researcher. If the researcher is not accepted it could lead to contaminating the field due to bad data being observed and recorded.

Glesne (2016) provides great examples of how to conduct fieldwork by carrying a journal for notes and then updating the responses each evening. Glesne (2016) recommends making descriptive and analytical notes for to aid in memory recall when expanding upon the observed data to assist in the writing process for the researcher. By having these specific details it allows for observer comments to help minimize personal biases that otherwise may lead to contaminating the field of data.


Clark, T. (2010). On ‘being researched’: why do people engage with qualitative research? (Links to an external site.)

Qualitative Research, 10(4) 399-419.

Glesne, C. (2016). Becoming qualitative researchers. (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

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Final Answer



How to immerse in a culture without contaminating the field
Institutional Affiliation




While it is the most challenging qualitative method of collecting data, participant
observation method is the most natural and the best way that researchers can immerse themselves
in a culture without contaminating the field (Shah, 2017). Participant observation method, also
referred to as ethnographic research allows a researcher to be part of the study group, connect
with most basic human experiences and enables discovery through immersion and participation.
It puts a researcher in an excellent position to understand the whys and hows of human behaviors
in their natural context. The researcher in the participant observation method is a subjective
participant and objective observer, implying that they must wisely play two essential but separate
roles at the same time. This is necessary, in most cases, to ensure that the study group is unaware
of the researcher’s primary objective. Usually, the study group will act and behave differently
once the field is contaminated (Jorgensen, 2020). This can hinder discovery and analysis of
numerous and relevant aspects in the social context that are fueled by some set norms and rules
that participants in most cases experience without speaking about, or are a taboo to talk about or
operate in some automatic way.
According to Spradley (2016), researchers in the participant observation method nee...

Chancellor_Ivy (22016)
Carnegie Mellon University

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Thanks as always for the good work!

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