Drawing on the authors’ thirty years of combined experience in the field, this authoritative, step-by-step guide to conducting focus groups features dedicated chapters on all aspects of the research process. Loaded with real world research examples from across the social sciences, and learning features such as ‘expert advice’ and ‘concepts and theories’ boxes, as well as and end of chapter exercises and further reading, this is the perfect manual for novice researchers who want to conduct a successful focus group.

Outlining the Focus Group

Outlining the Focus Group

The focus group is an essential tool in the researcher’s toolbox. Designed to study social representations, the focus group is a technique that takes advantage of group interactions to gather information.

However, in a toolbox, not all tools are useful for every occasion nor can any of them meet every need: each has its own specificities, its own strengths and weaknesses. This is why it is important to understand what the focus group technique is, when to use it and when not.

In this chapter, which outlines the main features of the focus group and its epistemological roots, we will focus on the two constitutive elements of the technique:

  • the group as a source of information;
  • the dialogical interaction among the ...
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