Intro. To Sociology
Feb. 9, 2013 “Advantages vs Disadvantages to
Henslin used the method of participant observation to conduct his study of the homeless.
There are advantages as well as disadvantages to this type of research that he did. I will explain
these in greater detail as well as suggestions to other methods he could have used. Including the
advantages/disadvantages of those as well.
Some of the advantages to using the research that he did were that he got a “real” life
perspective on being homeless. Because he was actually experiencing what the conditions were
like for himself in that shelter, making for more efficient research. Also, during this observation
he got a chance to escape from the stresses he would normally have in his actual everyday life.
I.e.: chores, bills, family issues etc. And although it wasn’t ideal for him, he still received free
food/beverages as well as room and board. Didn’t spend a dime!
As always there is the bad with good. That would be the disadvantages of this method.
One particular, being that he couldn’t really truly know how they felt on the inside about being
homeless; their pain. What were there internal struggles? He just knew kind of how it felt having
to BE in that environment. Another disadvantage was that he had to subject himself to things he
didn’t really like such as sleeping on dirty sheets and having to use used cups. As well as
possibly placing himself in the way of potential danger.
He very well could have used other methods to do his study. Such as using surveys or
If he would have used surveys with open ended questions he could’ve gotten a better
sense of how the homeless REALLY felt about being homeless. Fixing the disadvantage of his
original method. This would be coming straight from the horses’ mouth! But on the downside of
this some of the participants may not be able to read or...