Participant observation


Empirical research the purpose of which is to gain a intimate closeness with a given group of individuals and their principles, ideas, beliefs, and behaviours through an intensive interaction with a society in their cultural environment over a long period of time. This includes direct observation, interviews, participation in the group, etc.

Alternative labels

observation of participants
participant examination
participant study
observation of participant
participant evaluation
participant assessment

Skill type


Skill reusability level


Relationships with occupations

Essential knowledge

Participant observation is an essential knowledge of the following occupations:

Anthropologist: Anthropologists research all aspects of life pertaining to humans. They study the various civilisations that have existed along the time and their ways of organisation. They attempt to analyse the physical, societal, linguistic, political, economical, philosophical, and cultural aspects of different people. The aim of their studies is to understand and describe the past of humanity and solve topical societal problems. They explore different perspectives such as philosophical anthropology.

Optional knowledge

Participant observation is optional for these occupations. This means knowing this knowledge may be an asset for career advancement if you are in one of these occupations.

Anthropology lecturer: Anthropology lecturers are subject professors, teachers, or lecturers who instruct students who have obtained an upper secondary education diploma in their own specialised field of study, anthropology, which is predominantly academic in nature. They work with their university research assistants and university teaching assistants for the preparation of lectures and of exams, grading papers and exams and leading review and feedback sessions for the students. They also conduct academic research in their field of anthropology, publish their findings and liaise with other university colleagues.




  1. Participant observation – ESCO


Last updated on September 20, 2022