“Hanging around” is a legitimate research strategy, particularly in qualitative research fields like ethnography. Here’s a breakdown of how it works:

What it is:


Data Analysis:

Since data from hanging around is unstructured, analyzing it requires a more qualitative approach. Here are some methods:

Things to Consider:

‘Hanging around’ as an access strategy refers to spending time in a particular setting or with a group of people to gather data through observation and informal interactions. This approach is often used in ethnographic research, where the researcher immerses themselves in the daily lives of the participants to gain insights into their behaviors, interactions, and cultural practices.

Steps for ‘Hanging Around’ as an Access Strategy:

  1. Select the Setting: Identify the setting or group of people you want to study. This could be a community, organization, workplace, or any other environment where you can observe and interact with participants.
  2. Gain Entry: Establish trust and rapport with the participants to gain access to the setting. This may involve introductions, explaining the purpose of your research, and obtaining necessary permissions or approvals.
  3. Observe and Participate: Spend time observing the participants in their natural environment. Take note of their behaviors, interactions, routines, and cultural practices. Engage in casual conversations and activities to gain deeper insights and build relationships with the participants.
  4. Take Field Notes: Record your observations, conversations, and reflections in field notes. These notes should be detailed and descriptive, capturing the nuances of the setting and the experiences of the participants.
  5. Analyze Data: Analyze the collected data to identify patterns, themes, and insights. Look for connections between different observations and consider the broader context and implications of your findings.

Tips for Analysis:

  1. Thematic Analysis: Identify common themes or patterns in your observations and interactions. Categorize the data into meaningful groups and explore the relationships between them.
  2. Contextual Understanding: Consider the cultural, social, and environmental factors that influence the behaviors and interactions observed during the ‘hanging around’ period. This will help you understand the context in which these behaviors occur.
  3. Interpretation: Interpret the data in relation to your research questions or objectives. Reflect on the significance of your findings and how they contribute to the existing body of knowledge on the topic.
  4. Triangulation: Validate your findings by comparing them with other sources of data or perspectives. This could include interviews, surveys, or additional observations to ensure the reliability and validity of your findings.
  5. Ethical Considerations: Respect the privacy, confidentiality, and dignity of the participants. Obtain informed consent when necessary and ensure that your research adheres to ethical guidelines and standards.

By following these steps and tips, you can effectively use ‘hanging around’ as an access strategy for research and data collection, and analyze the collected data to generate meaningful insights and understanding.