chapter  2
32 Pages

Inside-Out and Outside-In: Participant Observation in Taiko Drumming

ByKimberly Powell

Participant observation, long regarded as the sine qua non of ethnography, is nevertheless an elusive concept, perhaps largely due to the seemingly endless combinations of activities along the continuum of participation and observa-

Kimberly Powell College of Education

tion. Of the two words that comprise the composite phrase, participation appears to be the more hotly contested one, raising epistemological as well as ontological questions regarding ethnography in particular and qualitative research in general. Participation calls into question the role of the researcher, the position of the researcher, and the intent of the researcher in relation to knowledge and what is deemed identifiably real.