We take stock of accepted wisdom regarding the use of participant observation. This research technique is defined and viewed in relation to two spectrums of roles that researchers can take in field studies. Issues associated with covert vs. overt observation are considered and the current prevailing wisdom acknowledged. We outline a fundamental methodology for conducting a participant observation study, and then apply the methodology in presenting a research design for a study in progress. We conclude with identification and discussion of key challenges in participant observation research.