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Field work is a general descriptive term for the collection of raw data in the natural and social sciences, such as in education, biology, ecology, linguistics, and sociology. It is more technically known to scientific methodologists as field research.
Field work, which is conducted in situ, can be contrasted with laboratory or experimental research which is conducted in a quasi-controlled environment. In survey research, field work refers to face-to-face or telephone interviewing.
The interviewing or observation of people to learn their languages , their folklore, and their social structures constitutes field work. Especially when humans themselves are the subject of study, protocols must be devised to reduce the risk of observer bias and the acquisition of too theoretical or idealized explanations of the actual workings of a culture.
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