Observation Of Social Situation Essay Research Paper

Observation Of Social Situation Essay, Research Paper

While systematically observing a social situation for approximatly one week, I have

observed some common patterns of interaction and have rendered some possible explanations

for these patterns of behavior. While there were some irregular observations, most of the

behavior was consistent with that of my hypotheses. My research question involves the

behavior of males versus females in the setting of a workout room or gym. I hyptohesized that

males are more likely to interact with each other than females are, and males are more likely to

use weights than females, while females are more likely to utilize aerobic activity machines

more than males. All of these hypothesis will be further supported within the basis of my


My basic observation technique included using qualitative research methods and

concentrating on how people interacted with each other, how they themselves acted , and how

other people reacted to them. This included using the participant observation technique where

the researcher participates in the activities of the unit under study.

All of my observations took place in both the Bream Wright Hauser weight room and

the ________________ workout room. I chose to observe both of these locations because of

the varitey of people who could be observed and the type of people who used both of these

facilities. In the Bream Wright Hauser weight room, there are three step machines, and a bike

located along the left wall, and the whold right side of the room includes weight machines to

work various parts of the body. In the middle of the room and to the back are the free weights

and weight benches. This room includes mostly weights and very few aerobic machines. In

the______________ weight room, however, there are very few weight and an abundance of

aerobic machines. One small corner contains weights and the rest of the room includes several

step machines, bikes, and other aerobic machines. One observation which I noticed was that

while the Bream Wright Hauser room included predominatly males with a few females,

including myself, the ____________room comtained all women and no men. I think this is

owed to the contents of the room. Even in Bream Wright Hauser, the small number of women

tended to use the aerobic machines. This leads me to one observation that the women are

much more likely to use the aerobic machines than men. Also, because there was not a single

man in the ___________room, I also concluded that men tend to utilize the weights much

more frequently than the aerobic machines.

The situation which I observed is located on the Gettysburg College campus in

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The participants include men and women in the age range of

approximatly 18 – 23 who constitute a social aggregate. The number of participants vary from

night to night and depending on the time of the day in which the observation is taken. The

characteristics of the participants also vary but include both men and women from mostly

middle class, white backgrounds who come together for the common goal of physical fitness.

The patterns of interaction which I observed basically coinsided with the statements in

my hypotheses.


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