Work of social anthropologists armed with diverse theoretical and practical knowledge, perspectives, questions and assumptions is characterized by field research in selected communities which usually lasts several months, even years.
Thus, socio-anthropological research is most often long-term and stationary, although it may consist of several field trips and move between several localities. In this process, researchers try to describe and understand the complexity of social phenomena through direct participation in everyday life.
To a certain extent, they become part of the studied populations (by learning local languages, customs, behaviours and expressions in certain contexts through participation in activities with local people) in order to get closer to local images of reality (i.e. to acquire emic perspective).
Their research is therefore ethnographic, as it is based mainly on the use of qualitative methods (mainly participant observations and semi-structured in-depth interviews) in order to record in detail the actual behaviour and thinking of people and the links between them.