Observation Research into the behaviour, norms, values and customs of underage drinkers in a pub environment.

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Observation as a method of sociological research There are various types of observation methods available for sociologists to use ranging from structured observation to covert and overt participant observation. Here is a closer analysis of the types of observation which exist: * Structured observation, this is where the observer often has a schedule to make notice of amount of occurrences of particular event. * Participant observation, is where the observer takes part in the , where s, where the observer actually takes part in the event Each type of observation has their advantages and disadvantages below outlines them in detail: Observation Research into the behaviour, norms, values and customs of underage drinkers in a pub environment Method used: * Covert/Participant observation * Full immersion in the subject culture to avoid hawthorn effect (observer effect) which may taunt or nullify some findings * Observation was unstructured and finding were noted mentally and written down at the nearest appropriate time. Any findings written down in the field would have compromised the covert nature of the research. Findings: * By fully immersing ourselves in the observation the target culture could be observed 'inside out' and we could not only observe behaviour we could, through conversation, find out the views, motives of the said culture.


This is much to the detriment of the Beta group who seldom go on a 'solo mission' and feel threatened by this level of confidence. * However the occurrence of this intergroup transfer are rare and as before mentioned seldom get served and even less when not backed up in the style of Betas. Detailed Analysis of Alpha group: * The alpha group itself is divided in almost the same way as the culture as a whole. The divisions are: A1 A2 A3 A1 * These are the elite or 'in crowd'. * Can walk or talk with any with impurity. * Males can drink traditionally feminine drinks and feel no shame. * A1 members get others to buy them drinks (like betas) but not as a sign of their own self-consciousness but as an assertion of their power. They usually prey on Betas for this role. Success is rewarded with praise and failure is rewarded with shame! And as a result A1's rarely pay for drinks. A2 * A2s are less popular, as a result are less untouchable. * A2 males feel less comfortable with female drinks there is an emphasis on the pint of lager.


Changing norms with heightened alcohol intake. As the three groups as a whole get increasingly more drunk certain things that were not considered normal would become increasingly normal. For example, singing, dancing, shouting, erratic laughter at un-humorous things and kissing. The normalisation of previously unacceptable behaviour with the advent of alcohol shows the culture is almost willing to drop the stringent 'unwritten laws' they set up. It is at this point of drunkenness that a slight level intergroup and intersubgroup mixing takes place with A2's becoming A1s and A1s dropping down to A3s as they get thrown out of the drinking establishment. Politics People have a life outside this culture. It's the bringing of elements from these lives to the pub culture that results in politics. A boy may fall out with a girl , not like another etc. and this may influence, especially in alphas, their subdivision, or overall popularity. Meltos Thoughts... People are all individuals and these broad grouping alpha, beta and gamma have been used simply to help understand behaviour. There are of course exceptions to every group, rule etc, with people falling between groups or outside categories completely.

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