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Systematic Self-Observation

Systematic Self-Observation
A Method for Researching the Hidden and Elusive Features of Everyday Social Life

Volume: 49

December 2001 | 80 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Systematic self-observation (SSO) is a valuable research method used by social scientists to gather information about those social actions that are hidden, restricted or subjective. The advantage of using self-observation over another research method, such as interviewing, for these types of actions is that the observer in SSO is the same as the obervee. This is the only way one can successfully measure thoughts, emotions and other criteria that are not always openly displayed. The authors provide a practical explanation and instruction to carrying out an systematic self-observation study. They include case studies of four aspects of hidden or elusive everyday social actions: lying, telling secrets, withholding compliments and feeling envy.

Series Editors' Introduction
H. Schwartz
1. Introducing Systematic Self-Observation
A Brief Description of Systematic Self-Observation

The Theoretical and Methodological Bases for Systematic Self-Observation

A Brief Review of Social Science Endeavors at Self-Observation

How Systematic Self-Observation Contrasts With the Other Self-Observation Methods

2. Implementing Systematic Self-Observation
Choosing the Subject Matter for Study

Formulating the Topic

Recruiting Informants

Guiding Informants to Be Scientific Observers

Teaching Informants How to Observe

Teaching Informants How to Report Self-Observations

Preparing Informants With Training Exercises

Ethical Considerations

Feedback on Systematic Self-Observation

3. A Critical Evaluation of Systematic Self-Observation
Problems in Choosing the Informants

Problems in Framing and Delivering the Instructions

Problems in Observing the Phenomenon

Problems in Recallign and Reporting the Phenomenon

Strengths of the Systematic Self-Observation Method

4. Four Studies Generated With Systematic Self-Observation
Case Study 1: Telling Lies in Everoyday Life

Case Study 2: The Micropolitics of the Secrets Told in Everyday Life

Case Study 3: Withholding of Compliments and the Covert Management of Disaffiliation

Case Study 4: Envy in the Social Comparisons of Everyday Life

Analytic Insights Generated by These Systematic Self-Observation Studies

5. Other Applications of Systematic Self-Observation
Researchable Systematic Self-Observation Topics

Systematic Self Observation as Redagogy

Using Systematic Self-Observation for Therapy

Self-Observation and Self/Spiritual Development Practices

About the Authors

A great guide for students who are thinking of methods to gather data from research participants. it bases it's conceptualization in symbolic interactionism and ethnomethodology which makes a very interesting micro research into everyday experience

Ms Irena Loveikaite
Department of Applied Arts, Waterford Institute of Technology
June 16, 2016

The question regarding research for me has always been, How much of our own self do we bring with us on the journey? Reflexive practise and an development of our own self is an integral part of the research process.
The use of the case study approach enhanced what was an intricate read. I will be recommending this text to all students who aim to undertake qualitative research. I feel an awareness of the possibility of these phenomena occurring in themselves may help them become aware of these processes occurring in others

Mr Mark Timoney
Humanities , Sligo Institute of Technology
May 28, 2012

Fascinating, concise, thought provoking and practical

Dr Angus Bancroft
Department of Sociology, Edinburgh University
October 7, 2011

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