The SAGE Handbook of Research Methods in Political Science and International Relations offers a comprehensive overview of research processes in social science - from the ideation and design of research projects, through the construction of theoretical arguments, to conceptualization, measurement, and data collection, and quantitative and qualitative empirical analysis - exposited through 65 major new contributions from leading international methodologists. Each chapter surveys, builds upon, and extends the modern state of the art in its area. Following through its six-part organization, undergraduate and graduate students, researchers and practicing academics will be guided through the design, methods, and analysis of issues in Political Science and International Relations: Part One: Formulating Good Research Questions and Designing Good Research Projects; Part Two: Methods of Theoretical Argumentation; Part Three: Conceptualization and Measurement; Part Four: Large-Scale Data Collection and Representation Methods; Part Five: Quantitative-Empirical Methods; Part Six: Qualitative and Mixed Methods.
Chapter 62: Focus Groups: From Qualitative Data Generation to Analysis
Focus Groups: From Qualitative Data Generation to Analysis
The idea that interviewing several people at the same time might be more advantageous than interviewing them separately was discovered a long time ago.1 In a focus group, a set of people are invited by a researcher to discuss a political topic or a set of social issues and are queried concerning their ideas, beliefs, or perceptions. The researcher plays the role of a moderator and a discussion is takes place between the participants. Robert K. Merton's ‘focused interview’ was only one among several suggestions about the reasons and the ways to interview several people at the same time (Merton and Kendall, 1946). Merton's model became successful in the field of applied research and ...