In this manner of data gathering, the researcher becomes, as it is, a part and parcel of his own study.
Although this is not a perfect method (is there one?
I will not claim that I have the answers to these questions, but they are the backdrops to how the specific science of Anthropology reveals its parcel of truth through methods uniquely or partly possessed it as its own.
Anthropology, as with all other fields, have set goals that set it apart from Sociology, Psychology, Philosophy, Natural Sciences, etc.
Direct participation and involvement of the researcher in the daily life of his/her research partners especially in ethnography “aims to gain a close and intimate familiarity with a given group of individuals (such as religious, occupational, sub-cultural group or a particular community) and their practices through an intensive involvement with the people in their cultural environment, usually over an extended period of time”.The demise of Asimov’s Galactic Empire was brought by the decline in Science and the waning courage to discover new information about our world.Although this is very farfetch in our contemporary era, we are nevertheless being challenged by the idea of the importance of scientific/anthropological discoveries in moving humanity forward and in searching for Truth, may it be true true, approximately true and likely true, yet always spurred by the curiousity of the Homo sapiens sapiens.PRA and RRA are two such methods with an end goal of assisting the poor, marginalized and oppressed sector of the society such that it is often the tool employed by nongovernment and community development workers.
Often, results of these studies are used to provide assistance and aid to the research partner/clientele and that “instead of creating knowledge for the advancement of a field or for knowledge’s sake, PRA and RRA are iterative processes, incorporating research, reflection and action in a cyclical process”.In both direct participant observation and PRA/RRA, there is equitable partnership between researcher and research partner community.