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Observation - as a deliberate, organized and systematic form of 'looking' or 'watching' - is integral to all scientific inquiry. It is a process that is guided by rational principles and assumptions, and motivated by an interest in obtaining data on occurrences, events, processes, reactions, forms of conduct and relationships. This collection, drawing together key contributions on observation methods in social research, provides comprehensive coverage of the historical development of observational methods and techniques and offers analytic reflection on the various issues involved in the scientific practice of observation. The volumes demonstrate the rich diversity of observational methods, techniques and associated innovations, as well as providing examples of results obtained by studies now considered to be social science classics. The volumes contain important material concerned with the development and refinement of observational methods, as well as the theoretical and philosophical understandings and assumptions integral to observation as a process. Sources that explore the practical matters involved in the stages of preparing for, engaging in, and analysing observations also feature, along with material from classic studies using observational methods. Finally, in addition to critiques of methods of observation, there are sources responding to recent developments within observational methods which utilise the possibilities afforded by contemporary digital and information technology in creative ways.