“Successful Focus Groups is a state-of-the-art text on focus group research methods…. Successful Focus Groups is a well-written document with clearly presented reasons why researchers should follow the guide lines presented. Additionally, this text is groundbreaking in its focus on topics that will advance knowledge of focus group research methods…. an improvement over prior treatises on focus groups…. Successful Focus Groups is clearly one of the most helpful treatises on focus group research…. this text will advance the quality of focus group research. I recommend Successful Focus Groups to anyone interested in learning about doing focus group research.”

--Susan A. Stearns in Qualitative Studies in Education

“There is original material and the overall breadth and ease of presentation of the material make this the most comprehensive and readable book produced so far on the subject…. In many of the chapters, examples from actual studies are used to illustrate the basics or discuss particular issues involved in the approach. This grounding of the discussion is particularly appealing.”

--Contemporary Sociology

“This book systematically addresses the issues, practice, wisdom, and problems in conducting focus groups. It is an integrated collection of articles representing the state of the art in focus group applications. It covers the basic principles of when and how to use focus groups, the applicability of focus group interviews to survey research and other methods, general issues in the use of focus groups, the specific problems of focus groups with different populations or settings, and an agenda for future development of the method.”

--Bulletin de Methodologie Sociologique

“Anyone who is considering using focus group interviews as a tool in social science research or as a means to develop and validate another research methodology will find this text quite useful. This well-written and edited text offers practical advice, methodologic considerations, and actual examples of how to plan, conduct, and analyze focus group research. It offers a practical discussion on the uses and limitations of focus group interviews as a research tool.”

--Journal of Nutrition Education

While various books introduce the basics of focus groups, Successful Focus Groups is the first volume to systematically address the issues, practice wisdom, and problems in conducting focus groups from the perspective of those who have done the most work using these methods in social science settings. The result is a well-integrated collection of articles that represents the state-of-the-art in focus group applications, written by a knowledgeable, interdisciplinary group of scholars. The chapters cover the basic principles of when and how to use focus groups, the applicability of focus group interviews to survey research and other methods, general issues in the use of focus groups, the specific problems of focus groups with different populations or settings, and an agenda for future development of the method. Authoritative and readable, this volume is essential reading for social scientists now using, or contemplating, focus groups in their research, and a useful, practical text for students of research methods.

When to Use Focus Groups and Why
David L.Morgan, Richard A.Krueger

Too often, decision making about focus groups is governed by myths. Other chapters in this volume address the myths that surround the technical issues of how to do focus groups (see also Morgan, 1992). In this chapter, we will first ...

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