Dse141 Tma02 Essay

1578 Words7 Pages
Compare and contrast how content analysis and ethnographic research have been used to study children’s understanding of friendship. Defining the concept of friendship has caused many difficulties for psychologists. Friendship and our understanding of friendship changes through time, it can also mean something different from one individual to another. (Brownlow, 2012) Bigelow and La Gaipa, as cited in Brownlow (2012) pioneered research into the understanding of children’s friendships using content analysis to gather their research. William Corsaro (1985) as cited in Brownlow (2012) built on this study choosing ethnography as his method of research. In order to identify similarities and differences between these two research methods we will look to compare and contrast the methods. We will also look at the aims of the psychologists whilst comparing and contrasting the methods they used and why they chose to conduct their studies using either of the methods. Lastly, we will look at the results obtained by using either ethnography or content analysis and any criticism’s that can be made of the studies. Friendship and determining what can be considered a friendship has previously been defined in a rather literal way; you are either a friend or a non-friend William Hartup as cited in Brownlow (2012). Through previous studies it can now be said that researchers agree on three clear principles of friendship in children and adolescents. All parties must equally benefit from the friendship, they must also like each other and lastly the friendship must be enjoyable (Brownlow, 2012). Ethnography and content analysis are two methods that psychologists have used to research children’s understanding of friendship. Ethnography is the study of people and their culture, it involves conducting observations and interacting with a group by becoming a member of that group, its results
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