Participant observation is characterized by such actions as having an open, nonjudgmental attitude, being interested in learning more about others, being aware of the propensity for feeling culture shock and for making mistakes, the majority of which can be overcome, being a careful observer and a good listener, and being open to the unexpected in what is learned (De WALT & De WALT, 1998).
 FINE (2003) uses the term "peopled ethnography" to describe text that provides an understanding of the setting and that describes theoretical implications through the use of vignettes, based on field notes from observations, interviews, and products of the group members.
Consider having multiple independent researchers observe and code their notes.
Using multiple observers with differing perspectives (e.g.
Fieldwork involves "active looking, improving memory, informal interviewing, writing detailed field notes, and perhaps most importantly, patience" (De WALT & De WALT, 2002, p.vii).
Participant observation is the process enabling researchers to learn about the activities of the people under study in the natural setting through observing and participating in those activities.
: Observation, particularly participant observation, has been used in a variety of disciplines as a tool for collecting data about people, processes, and cultures in qualitative research. The purpose of this paper is to discuss observation, particularly participant observation, as a tool for collecting data in qualitative research studies.
This paper provides a look at various definitions of participant observation, the history of its use, the purposes for which it is used, the stances of the observer, and when, what, and how to observe. Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Participant Observation 5.1 Limitations of observation 6. Aspects of observation discussed herein include various definitions of participant observation, some history of its use, the purposes for which such observation is used, the stances or roles of the observer, and additional information about when, what, and how to observe.
As you plan your next observational research project and choose the right type for it to be successful, consider the following: Ethics of Observing.
On both ends of the spectrum (a fully detached or fully engaged observer), you face ethical considerations, as those being observed aren’t aware of it.