Preconceived Observation

Decent Essays

My observation was performed in a thrift store local to my community; one in which I regularly frequent in order to purchase inexpensive clothing. This fact alone left me in a tight position as I was able to view the community through an emic perspective. Prior to arriving at the establishment, I already had a mental picture of the store’s layout. Due to my previous knowledge that the seating areas of the store blocked off all lines of sight for anything other than the back wall and dressing stalls, when conducting my observation I had chosen to roam freely around the store; residing mainly at the back clothing racks and homeware department located in the front left corner. I did not inform anyone that my purpose for being within the store …show more content…

Similar to the notion in which I previously knew the locations within the store where the customers would most commonly reside, I had entered my observation with presumptions concerning the scenarios that I would later encounter. These notions would later come into play in influencing the sights that I focused on during my observation and the types of information in which I chose to include in the final product of my report. This concept of preconceived notions and its effects, lead me to disregard the workers within my observation even though the worker to shopper ratio was higher on that particular day. Due to my preconceived notion that the workers would not be of relevance to the data that I was collecting (“the focal point of shoppers”), I had chosen to omit them within both my observation notes and …show more content…

In my observation, I had stated details such as, “parents would offer their children the possibility of buying a toy in exchange for their good behavior”. However, as I was unable to come in verbal contact with the shoppers and take on the role of a participant observer, the true intentions of the “parent” for purchasing the toys alongside whether or not the relationship between a certain adult and child were that of a parent and child were left unknown to me. I was lead to make inferences based upon their behavioral patterns that the relationship between certain individuals were that of parent and child due to my ideological bias concerning what a paternal/maternal relationship looks like. I had assumed due to my personal bias towards parents, that the “parent” in the situation was bargaining with their “child”, as throughout my adolescent years while babysitting my younger cousins, I had used a method similar to the one that I had observed from the “parents” in order to keep my cousins in check. This particular example shows my attempt at making a sound analysis of the situations that I had observed, however, leaned further on the side of a descriptive inference due to the conclusions that I had formed surrounding the relationship between individuals and the reasoning behind their

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