Overt Participant Observation Previous Page "Go Native"
With overt participation, the researcher should find it easier to separate the roles of participant and observer. There is, consequently, a reduced chance of becoming so immersed in the behaviour of the group the researcher ceases to be an observer and simply become a participant - just another member of the group.It's important the researcher doesn't over-identify with the group they're studying...

The term for this is "going native" - where the researcher ceases to balance the roles of participant and observer and, instead, simply participates like any other group member. A researcher who "goes native" effectively stops being a researcher... 

However, this is not invariably the case. Whyte ("Street Corner Society") found that he became so involved with the lives of gang members that he progressively came to see himself as "one of the gang" and not as a researcher who just happened to be researching gang behaviour.