Part of what attracted me to the book was the simplicity of the subtitle, actually. It's kind of how I view my job: I study how people work.
Stake cites Candib (1995), Medicine and the Family: A Feminist Perspective, and I think the concept he invokes—Candib's "connected knowing"—is noteworthy. He says that
connected knowing is the embodiment of empathy, using personal experiences and relationships to inquire how others see how things work. It relies on a studied perception of situations in context, thus working toward credibility and esteem (p. 47).I don't think this is the same as saying one is a participant researcher, in the sense of Malinowski, for example. Since it is empathic, connected knowing is a construct that relies on keen observation and perception—on embodied observation and perception, I might argue.
Part of the reason that this construct resonates with me has to do with one of my ongoing studies, an investigation of embodied interaction in religious practice. That inquiry is guided by the desire to better understand how people know the ineffable, how their embodied practices enable their knowing.
As a researcher, a kind of connected knowing—an embodied observation and perception—is a method I deploy for understanding participant practice.
I just didn't know what it was called.