Compare and contrast the approach to studying children’s friendships taken in the Bigelow and La Gaipa (1974) study with that taken by William Corsaro
Children’s friendships have been studied by a number of researchers and psychologists. The two studies that will be looked at will be those conducted by Bigelow and La Gaipa (1974) and by William Corsaro. Each study will be looked at in depth; this will include what was researched and also the methods that were used during the study. With this information, similarities and differences will naturally arise and give grounds for comparing and contrasting the two.
When looking at the content of both studies there is a clear similarity and this ...view middle of the document...
This is also true when in correlation with the research methods that were used. Bigelow and La Gaipa’s approach was to ask children to think about a best friend of the same sex and with this the children were then asked to produce an essay consisting of what they sought after and expected from a best friend. They were also asked to include within the essay, how they might differ their expectations of less closer friends (Brownlow, 2010 p. 242). This approach could produce more varied answers and results from that of observations and experiments. On the other hand, Corsaro took the approach of taking detailed notes and video recordings of children’s interactions in their own environment (Brownlow, 2010 p. 250). With this Corsaro encountered results on a more personal level.
Bigelow and La Gaipa collected information consisting of 480 individually written essays. A compiled list of twenty-one preselected characteristics was used against these essays in order to analyse what had been written by the children (Brownlow, 2010 p. 242-245). This content analysis approach enabled researchers to look for patterns in the data and create comparisons between the ages and gender of the children used. William Corsaro used a very different method. He used an Ethnographic approach which included watching and observing the children from a distance. He did not interact with the children until they approached him and invited him to be a part of their social circle (Brownlow, 2010 p. 251). This gave insight as to how children go about dealing with friendship and how they may or may not act as a friend towards another. Corsaro mentioned, “I think a key here is, to be seen not as a typical adult, is to let children bring you in” (Interview with William Corsaro (2010). Through this method being used, Corsaro was able to produce rich and complex data as he was interacting with the children on their level so that they would feel relaxed and hopefully reduce the chance of the children not acting as they normally would around each other.
The type of research method used determines what sort of evidence is collected. Looking back at Bigelow and La Gaipa’s method, where written evidence was collected and then analysed, it would be said that the data collected was qualitative as it contained very detailed an personal thoughts on the research matter however the data then changed into quantitative as all the personal information wasn’t used by the researchers only the words that had been pre-selected were counted (Brownlow, 2010 p. 242). This is different from the data that Corsaro collected. He used the information and evidence that he gained from talking as one of the children. With this in mind the evidence collected was of quantitative nature; he analysed each individual perspective that the data preserved.
With both studies focusing on different methods, each study found different things from their research. Bigelow and La Gaipa (1974) discovered from the data that was...