participant observation

In sociology, participant observation describes a method of study in which a researcher joins in living, working or otherwise hanging out with the people whose lifestyle and thinking he or she is studying, in order to get an in-depth, insider’s view of what the world means to those s/he is studying. For non-academics, we can use this term to describe a perspective on a subject based on the author’s working knowledge of the field. For more personal reflection on an individual’s own experience, use ‘personal reflection’.