While providing an introduction to basic principles and strategies, this volume also explores the philosophy and methodology underlying the actual practice of participant observation. Taking a thoroughly practical approach to the methods of participant observation, Jorgensen illustrates these methods with both classic and current research studies. By using the materials in this book, the reader can begin conducting participant observation research on his or her own.
Danny L. Jorgensen is Professor (and former Chair) of Religious Studies at the University of South Florida, Tampa, where he has been employed since 1978 (initially in sociology until 1991). His academic training and degrees are in sociology: B.S., Northern Arizona University, 1972; M.A. Western Kentucky University, 1974; and The Ohio State University, 1979. Jorgensen's teaching and research is in the areas of participant observation, ethnography, and qualitative research; the sociology of religion; and new religions in America, including Mormonism, Neopaganism and Witchcraft, Scientology, and Old Order Anabaptists (Amish, Mennonites, Hutterites, and Brethren). He is the author of several books, edited books, and an extensive array of book chapters and journal articles, many of them based on participant observation and other qualitative, ethnographic methods in these areas. He and spouse, June, reside part of the year in Tampa and part of the year near Lebanon, in southern Missouri, on a hundred acre horse farm.